Advantages Interesting journey to the fort, amazing views over the island, it's free
Disadvantages Doesn't provide entertainment for long
|Value for Money|
|Ease of getting around|
Fort Charlotte is the largest fort on St Vincent. It overlooks Kingstown, the capital, and was built to protect the town from invasion. Fort Charlotte was built in 1803, between the American Revolution and the American war of 1812.The fort is well preserved and quite complete, but there is not much to do there. On the entrance to the courtyard, which is now used as a car park, you come across the powder house, the women’s prison and some other buildings. It is not possible to enter these buildings, however, there is a small room within a guard house that you can get in to. In this room there are a few, and by a few I mean a few, historic paintings featuring old maritime war scenes.
There is a ramp leading up to the canons, which still remain at the site. I was expecting the cannons to look out over the Caribbean sea since I thought they would be used to sink enemy ships, however, the cannons are facing inland. Unfortunately, I could not identify the reason why this should be. Did the invaders come across the land, or have the cannons actually been moved?The fort is not that big and it is possible to walk around the whole site in a few minutes, so don’t go there expecting to get a few hours entertainment from it.
The fort was also used in the filming of the Pirates of the Caribbean. Remember the scene where Elizabeth (Keira Knightly’s character) faints because her corset is too tight and plummets over the edge and in to the sea? Well, that scene was shot here, however, there is some distance between the fort and the sea and as Elizabeth fell, and wasn’t “catapulted”, it is clear that there are some serious computer generated images in the movie, which I didn’t appreciate until I visited the fort, which was a bit disappointing at the time.I actually found the journey to the fort more enjoyable and fascinating than the fort itself. The fort is obviously high up and once you venture off the main road and on to the small, tight tracks things start to get interesting, especially when you meet an oncoming vehicle travelling down the mountain when track is only wide enough for one vehicle. What’s more, there are no safety barriers or fences just a sheer drop down. The views over St Vincent get more and more impressive the higher up you go and there are photo opportunities galore.
The views from the top of the fort overlooking St Vincent bay are absolutely stunning and breathtakingly beautiful. Words can’t describe them, photos don’t do it any justice and the only way to fully appreciate it is to get out there and see for yourself.Despite this being a tourist attraction entrance to the fort is absolutely free, which surprised me somewhat. In the UK, and many other places I can think of, as soon as something is considered a tourist attraction an entrance price is imposed and from there on in everything revolves around extracting as much cash from the visitors as possible. This type of behavior doesn’t seem to happen in St Vincent and the locals appear more than pleased that you are actually interested in their culture and history enough to experience it and they don’t charge you for this.
Whilst the site is historic you won’t learn anything new from visiting. Unlike other historical sites of interest there are no information boards, no guides or anything like that, which is a bit of a pity. The only thing you can do is wander around at your own leisure and ponder what things were like and let your imagination run riot, so how close you’d actually be is anyone’s guess.If you ever visit St Vincent then a trip to the fort is a definite must do although totally for the wrong reasons. As stated above you won’t be visiting it to learn anything new, but you will enjoy some amazing views over the island and experience some “dangerous” roads with a sheer drop on one side.
(This review has been posted on other sites under the name of yackers1)
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