If you’re looking to visit historical sites on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, consider Fort Christian in Charlotte Amalie. This fort dates back to the late 1600s, the heyday of piracy and European commerce in the Caribbean Sea. Due to its historical significance, it’s been designated a U.S. National Historical Landmark.

One of the interesting historical points about St. Thomas specifically is that it was colonized by the Danes; when most of us think of European powers in the Caribbean, we think of the Spanish, British, French, or Dutch, but not the Danes. They weren’t as prolific colonizers as some of those other countries, but they did have some outposts in the Caribbean and India. Fort Christian, named after King Christian V of Denmark, is one of the forts they built when occupying this territory. The central tower, called Trygborg, used to house cannons, and the fort did see some combat and was used for military purposes until the 1870s.

Currently, Fort Christian is being renovated (wear-and-tear is something that can happen after almost 350 years!), but it can still be explored on weekdays between 8:30 A.M. to 4 P.M. The fort houses a museum which charts the history of St. Thomas, as well as a natural history museum, an art gallery, and a collection of furniture from the Danish colonial period.

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