Christiansted National Historic Site, located on St. Croix, is a powerful testament to European colonialism in the Caribbean. Christiansted was the capital of the Danish West Indies, and it shows – here you’ll see old 18th and 19th-century buildings and witness the successful attempt of the National Park Service to capture the Danish economy and way of life in the years between 1733 and 1917 (when the islands were purchased by the United States).

The Historic Site includes six especially noteworthy buildings: The Dutch West India Company Warehouse from 1749, a famous steeple church from 1753, the imposing Fort Christiansvaern built in 1749, the Government House from 1747, a customs house built in the early 1840s, and the Scale House from 1856. The most popular of these is Fort Christiansvaern, a large yellow fort constructed to defend the Christiansted harbor from pirates and house locals from raids, hurricanes or slave revolts. It was ultimately successful, preventing pirates from ever entering the harbor, and also houses a large, eerie dungeon.

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