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More Than Just Beaches: 11 Jamaican Cultural Sites to Visit

marcus-garvey-monumentMonument to the Rt. Excellent Marcus Garvey

The monument to the Rt. Excellent Marcus Garvey was designed by the government town planner, G. C. Hodges, in 1964. The work was executed by the staff of the National Trust Commission under the supervision of T. A. L. Concannon, and is located in the country’s capital, Kingston.

The body of Marcus Garvey was brought back from England, where he died in June 1940, and re-interred at the site of this monument. The burial vault, made from terrazzo and inset with marble, lies in the center of a black star, which was a symbol Garvey used in his enterprises, for example, the Black Star Line Shipping Company.

A bronze bust of Garvey by T. Alvin Marriot, which had been erected in another part of the park by the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation in 1956, was removed and incorporated into the design.

Port-Royal-JamaicaPort Royal

After the British took Jamaica from the Spanish in 1654, they built a fort in the area separating Kingston Harbor from the Caribbean Sea. The area and its community of seamen, merchants and prostitutes who congregated around the fort eventually became known as Port Royal. The city became an important trading port that grew faster than any other city in the Americas, except Boston, Mass.

During the late 1600s, Port Royal also drew privateers, more commonly known as pirates, who existed alongside legitimate trading companies until the whole city fell into the sea during an earthquake in 1692. Port Royal was rebuilt, but a series of earthquakes continued to destroy it until it finally disappeared in 1722 after a hurricane and two earthquakes. Today’s Port Royal is a sleepy fishing village, whose history can be seen in a virtually untouched archaeological site.

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