Spanish Town is the chief town of the Paroisse Holy-Catherine. Founded in 1534, it was the capital of the Jamaica during more than 300 years. The old municipal place, of Spanish design, is the principal historical interest of the city. In north draws up the imposing statue of the Admiral George Rodney, carved by John Bacon, the most famous artist of the United Kingdom at the end of the 18th century. In the east, the Room of the Parliament, made red bricks, dealt with the old royal villa, place of residence of the governor, mainly destroyed by a fire in 1925. The frontage had to be rebuilt and the building now shelters the museum of construction and technology. Lastly, it is also there that draws up the cathedral St James going back to 1714.
Spanish Town is the oldest city of the Nouveau World which was occupied without interruption until today. It became the capital of the Jamaica when the Spaniards gave up Sevilla Nueva on the northern coast, too inhospitable, to settle in the rich and fertile plains south. They thus created a new city: St Jago of Vega, which will become Spanish Town when it is captured by the English. Today, one finds this Spanish period in the names of the streets: street of the white church ( White Church St ) where the church of the White Cross was built, street of the red church ( Red Church St ) where the church of the Red Cross was, and street of the monks ( Monk St ) where there was a monastery. In 1640, a British Boucanier, which plundered the Spanish village, describes it like a city located on a splendid and roomy plain, composed of 400 or 500 houses, built for the majority in cob of sugar canes and mortar, and clearing of 5 or 6 imposing churches and vaults, as well as a monastery of brothers franciscains.
In 1655, a British forwarding ordered by English admiral William PEN and the Venables general unloads a few kilometers in the south of Strong Passage and manages to capture the island of the Jamaica without meeting true resistance, the Spaniards having fled towards Cuba, carrying with them the valuable articles. They then give to St Jago of Vega the name of Spanish Town. In little time, all the brick buildings are destroyed and replaced by stone buildings. The November 16th 1720, the pirate Calico Jack Rackham and its crew there are considered to be guilty of piracy and are hung the next day.
The municipal place was the heart of the island during 3 centuries. Today, it is a small quiet place which makes it possible to admire the vestiges of the past. The Historical Foundation of Spanish Town organizes visits of the principal historic sites, an old graver of tailor and a traditional Jamaican house. This visit starts in Casa of Vega in the street Barrett ( Barrett St ), a building of brick restored dating from the 18th century.
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