Nassua is the capital of the Bahamas lies on the island of New Providence. In Nassua, there are a huge range of historical, cultural and natural attraction locations that can help architects learn about Caribbean architecture and the Bahamian clapboard house. Though Bahamas is a location for relaxing and enjoying time out of work, for architects it is a location to learn about construction around the sea and utilizing spaces without destroying nature.
Here are 15 places to visit in Nassua for the Travelling Architect:
1. Queen’s Staircase
The Queen’s Staircase also known as ’66 steps’ is a famous landmark at Nassau and has a height of about 31m. Located within the Fort Fincastle complex, the stairs were built between 1793-1794 with limestone by slaves. The steps are a direct connection between the fort and Nassau city. It is named in honor of Queen Victoria, the then queen of England.
2. Parliament Square
The square depicts the colonial architecture that prevailed in Nassau during the year 1815. It comprises mainly the Senate House, House Assembly, and the statuette of Queen Victoria. The Buildings are given a flamingo pink color, which is common for all government buildings in Old Nassau. The buildings are arranged in a semicircular layout as per the early Gregorian architecture.
3. Gregory’s Archway
The archway was designed by JJ Burnside and was a symbolic division between Downtown Nassau and a residential area for slaves, at present the Old Hill Community of New Providence. It is named the then-governor John Gregory under whom the archway was built.
4. Fort Montagu
Fort Montagu has immense significance in the history of the Bahamas, especially since being a war monument of the battle of the Bahamas in 1776.
The fort was constructed in 1741 as a defense mechanism against Spanish invaders. It is the oldest fort on the island and is completely constructed in limestone.
5. Nassau Public Library
The Nassau Public Library was constructed in 1797 initially as a jail. It has an octagonal base plan and I painted with flamingo pink color, a common attribute of all public buildings. It was converted into a library cum museum 1873 and is the oldest of the five libraries in the Bahamas.
6. Fort Fincastle
Fincastle was built in the year 1793 by Lord Dunmore at a hilltop to protect the city from Pirates. The fort is completely constructed with cut limestone in the shape of a paddlewheel steamer. Despite the ruins due to the passage of time, the fort contains remains of artillery used for defense.
7. Jacaranda House
Jacaranda House is a stately house built-in 1840. It is of 2 storeys and resembles the historic colonial architecture of Old Nassau with its peaked roofs and curved mansards. Situated over a land of 1.5 acres, the house stands at the center of Downtown Nassau demonstrating colonial elegance in design.
8. Balcony House
The balcony house is one of the oldest standing residences in Nassau, built in the colonial loyalist style of the 18th century. It is known for its balcony feature that overlooks the market square which was uncommon back then. The house has currently been converted into a museum.
9. The Christ Church Cathedral
The Cathedral was built in 1670 adapting gothic architecture. It is constructed with limestone and locally quarried stone and has granite tiles from Italy laid over the cement floors. Other features are its stained-glass windows on the north and south sides, the central display of The Great Organ Pipes with other plaques and engravings to enhance the spiritual ambiance.
10. Fort Charlotte
Fort Charlotte was built in the 18th century situated overlooking Nassau harbor. It was constructed under Lord Dunmore and is constructed with solid rock which took about 32 years to build. It is surrounded by a dry moat with a wooden bridge to commute across mainly used as a defense mechanism against potential invaders.
11. The Priory-Dunmore House
The building was the residence of Lord Dunmore built between 1787 to 1788. It has undergone several changes in function varying from an office quarter by the war department, to a military hospital by the Roman Catholic Church and now as the National Museum of Bahamas.
12. The Deanery House
It is one of the oldest residences in The Bahamas built around 1710. The three-storeyed structure is constructed with stone with chamfered quoins. The main feature is the three-tier verandah that runs all around the building on all three floors. The outhouse in the compound used to serve as slave quarters depicting the social scenario then.
13. The Cloister and Versailles Garden
The Versailles Garden is a terraced landscape with an Augustinian cloister set on a rectangular plot. The cloister was built in the 12th -13th century France and was sold to Huntington Hartford II, the master of the gardens then. It consists of various sculptures of well-known personalities such as Franklin Delanor Roosevelt, David Livingston; to name a few.
14. St Augustine’s Monastery
The monastery was built by English architect John Hawes in 1946. Initially, the plan was set inside a quadrangle which later evolved as per site norms and features into a serpentine approach. The key features of the monastery are its arcaded long corridors and cloisters on all floors which were quite rare then. The ornamentation was moderate and understandable by the lame man.
15. The Water Tower
The water tower is situated within the Fort Fincastle complex. It is the tallest structure in Nassau with a height of 126 feet. It was constructed in 1928 completely with reinforced concrete. The spiraling stairwell inside comprises 216 steps and offers a panoramic view of the Nassau city below.