Spanish Town (Capital of St. Catherine, Jamaica)

Spanish Town (Capital of St. Catherine, Jamaica)

From 1534 and until 1872 the area which is today officially named as Spanish Town was capital of Jamaica by Spanish and British rule in the region. It houses several memorials as well as national archives along with one of the oldest Anglican churches outside England.

Spanish Town is thirteen miles from Kingston and built on the west bank of the Rio Cobre river. Street names and historic architecture like White Church streets and Red Church mark the colonial history, Spanish rule from 1534 to 1655 and English rule from 1655 to 1872.

Currently the town is house for more than 160,000 people and is growing rapidly. Sometimes the place is also colloquially referred as Prison Oval or Spain within the country.

Transport

Spanish Town – Jamaica

Spanish Town is served by buses, mini buses and taxis operated by Spanish Town Transport Hub. It is on located on the main A1 and A2 roads. The A1 is road connecting Kingston and Lucea while A2 refers to the link between Spanish Town to Savanna-la-Mar.

The Spanish Town railway station is currently disused as passenger traffic on the Jamaica’s railways ceased abruptly. It was opened in 1845 and closed in 1992, and earlier provided access to Kingston to Montego Bay, Spanish Town to Ewarton, Bog Walk to Port Antonio, and Linstead to New Works lines.

Point of attractions

Spanish Town

Parade – Earlier it was called as Emancipation Square. Some of the finest old buildings enfold the area like Rodney Memorial that was build for Admiral George Rodney, who saved Jamaica from French-Spanish invasion fleet in 1782 and was commander-in-chief of the West Indian Naval Station. One can see National Archives behind it housing national documents dating back centuries. House of Assembly of 1762 can be seen too.

St. Jago de la Vega Cathedral – St. Jago de la Vega Cathedral is the oldest Anglican cathedral in the Caribbean. It was built in 1714 and is equipped with impressive beamed ceiling as well as a magnificent stained-glass window.

Iron Bridge – Erected in 1801 on a cut-stone foundation dating back to 1675, the Iron Bridge is the only surviving bridge of such kind in the Americas. Spanning the Rio Cobre river, it is still used by pedestrians.

House of Assembly – The House of Assembly was built with redbrick in 1762. It still houses offices of the St. Catherine Parish Council. During the colonial days the Supreme Court and Assembly were housed here. It has beautiful wooden upper story.

Spanish Town

National Archives – The National Archives houses national documents that dates back centuries, even the proclamation of the abolition of slavery.

Rodney Memorial – Built in the honor of Admiral George Rodney, the Rodney Memorial is fronted by two brass cannons from the French flagship. The admiral stands within a cupola temple. He saved Jamaica from a combined French and Spanish invasion in 1782 at the Battle of the Saints. He was then commander-in-chief of the West Indian Naval Station.

Apart from all these one can also visit People’s Museum of Crafts & Technology, Courthouse Ruins and Old King’s House Ruins in Spanish Town, Jamaica.

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