Located in the Atlantic Ocean, Barbados is a Caribbean island nation and the easternmost island of the Lesser Antilles. The country covers an area of 432 square km, and had a population of 277,821 in 2010.
What Is the Capital of Barbados and Where Is it Located?
The capital of Barbados is Bridgetown. With a population of approximately 110,000 in 2014, Bridgetown is also the island country's most populous city. Bridgetown is located in the parish of Saint Michael (the country is subdivided into parishes), on Carlisle Bay, near the island's southwestern coast. The Constitution River runs through the center of the city, which provides the city with water access. Bridgetown experiences a tropical wet and dry climate.
History of the Capital City of Barbados
The area now defined as Bridgetown was previously swampy land around the Constitution River. When the British first arrived, they found the island largely unoccupied by humans. However, they found a primitive bridge over the swampy area, and thus believed the land was previously inhabited by indigenous people of the Caribbean region. In 1654, the British constructed a new bridge over the swampy river area and named the area as the Town of Saint Michael, which was later renamed as Bridgetown.
On July 5, 1628, an English settlement was established in the area that is now Bridgetown. The town was designed similar to English medieval towns. Gradually the settlement grew into a town. In 1824, Saint Michael's Parish Church in Bridgetown was designated as a cathedral. This event necessitated the status of Bridgetown to be upgraded from town to city, which occurred in 1842. By 1958 Bridgetown had its own local government, however it was later dissolved in 1967. The city served as the capital of the sovereign state of Barbados after the country gained independence from British rule in 1966.
Current Role of Bridgetown
As the capital of city of Barbados, Bridgetown is home to important government buildings, ministries, and departments of the country, such as the Parliament Buildings. Bridgetown Port is the main port of the country and one of the Caribbean’s busiest shipping and transhipment hubs. The city is also the commercial hub of the country. Several prestigious academic institutions are also located here, as well as reputable international bank branches. The city has modern infrastructure and a high living standard.