From the wickedest city in the New World to a thriving commercial centre, Port Royal Jamaica has been the subject of popular interest.
While the image of a decadent city and lavish city only obscure a more complex history of English colonization and African trade.
Port Royal Jamaica was conquered by the English from the Spaniards in 1655 and developed into a major city of the Americas.
It was similar in size to the city of Boston. The city flourished and was known as the richest and most decadent city in the Americans.
On June 7th, 1692 at 11:42 am Port Royal was destroyed by a massive earthquake. Approximately 35 of the 60 acres of land was swallowed by the earthquake. The remaining buildings in Port Royal collapsed.
Today Port Royal lives on as a small maritime community and a heritage site of worldwide significance. Remnants of the old city of Port Royal underwater have been recovered by archaeologists and are displayed in the museum for tourists to view.
Come visit this heritage site to learn a bit about the history of Port Royal and its surrounding area.
Port Royal is located around 35 minutes and warrants a visit if you are in Kingston. There are two buildings that house a museum display.
The museum is located in Fort Charles. You will also get to visit the Giddy House and the Battery in the back of the complex. Here are a few things we learned about Port Royal on our visit:
- Privateers and Buccaneers were legal pirates working for the state
- Port Royal was actually hit by two earthquakes. One in 1692 and one in 1907.
- By 1692 there was an impressive array of forts and stone walls encasing Port Royal making it one of the most defended cities in the Caribbean.
- The fort was made to resemble a large ship to fool the enemy.
- The walls of the fort which still exist today are built from Red bricks, limestone, sand and molasses.
- The cannons displayed in the Fort can weigh up to 20 tons. It took a ship five years to transport the cannon from Europe to Jamaica.
- The location where the Giddy house is located used to be completely underwater. The extra strip of land behind the fort was created after the 1692 earthquake.
- The Giddy House is named so because of the feeling you get when you are inside. The house is tilted around 30 degrees to the side. This happened in the 1907 earthquake.
- Port Royal used to be an island.
- During the 19th century Port Royal was the main base for the British.
- The Old Naval Hospital in the town of Port Royal is actually built on water.
- Fort Charles built in 1656 is the oldest fort in Jamaica.
- Fort Charles is one of six forts that was guarding the entrance to Kingston Harbour. Fort Charles was the only fort to survive the 1692 earthquake.
Port Royal Jamaica Tour Information
- Distance from New Kingston: 35 minutes’ drive
- Opening Hours:- 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday, Last tour 4:30 pm
- Cost of Tour: Tourist US $10 Adults, US $5 Children
Jamaica Travel Saver Tips
- Glorias Seafood Restaurant which is very popular amongst locals is located right in front of the Port Royal Police Station. Stop by for lunch or dinner when you visit Port Royal.
- You can catch the boat to Limecay from Port Royal. Why not take a tour have lunch at Glorias and then hang out on the beach at Limecay. You can end your day by having drinks at Morgans Harbour hotel and watching the sunset.
What to Bring
- Walking shoes