Charlotte Amalie History,
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Charlotte Amalie History, St. Thomas

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The Virgin Islands capital city, Charlotte Amalie and its harbor area is like any large American city with the attendant hustle and bustle.

Motor traffic is congested because the streets, built by the Danes for horse and carriage, are too narrow to easily accommodate today's traffic. But still ideal for a walking tour.

The majority of city's buildings are of thick masonry, originally old warehouses, that were remodeled into colorful stores bursting with duty-free goods from all over the world.


At some point, you should enjoy an overview of Charlotte Amalie, either from the hillsides or the water. Only then will you appreciate the city's dazzling checkerboard roofs of silver and red set against the blue Caribbean. It's a famous, classic Caribbean scene.

St. Thomas has always been appreciated by people who liked a good time, and never more appreciated than by pirates who used it as an "R&R" stop, right under the nose of the Danish authorities.

Charlotte Amalie's original name was Tap Hus, Danish for "rum shop," in honor of its most popular product.

As a freeport, Tap Hus under the Danes became a very rich city. As such, the place required a more respectable name than Rum Shop, so in 1730, Tap Hus was renamed Charlotte Amalie, after the wife of Danish King Christian V.

A small fortification called Fort Skytsborg has been turned into a landmark hotel, Blackbeard's Castle. The five-story tower supposedly is the "oldest extant historical structure in the Virgin Islands."

Pirates, including the infamous pirate, Blackbeard, reputedly used it for a lookout tower.

Blackbeard is said to have married (very formal, for a pirate) 14 different women, killing them when he tired of their charms.

What message is there that Blackbeard's Castle houses the hotel's bridal suites?

Charlotte Amalie Walking Tour

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