Frederiksted - St Croix's Second City
Frederiksted, the smaller of St Croix's two cities, is a historically rich town with lots of charm. It's located on the island's west coast, about seventeen miles southwest of Christiansted.
The city was established in 1751, and named for Danish King Frederik V. When you get right down to it, Frederiksted is a charming, tranquil little town which is compact enough to comfortably tour in under a few hours. It's the smallest and quietest of Virgin Islands Cities.
Despite the city's 18th century heritage, you'll find that many of its architectural attractions are in the Victorian style. This is due to a labor revolt that took place in 1878. The revolt got out of hand, the town was burned, and most of the original Colonial structures were destroyed in the fire. Most of the town was rebuilt in 1879 in the style of the times. So now, you find 19th century Victorian buildings erected on 18th century foundations.
Much of the town's appeal is simply in its laid-back, easygoing, quiet atmosphere. Truthfully, in the off-season, it can seem downright sleepy.
There are several nice sights to see in Frederiksted. The most prominent is Fort Frederik, built between 1752 and 1760 to discourage smuggling. It's a rusty-red building overlooking the shoreline with imposing cannons guarding the waterfront from pirates and smugglers. Fort Frederik has the distinction of being the place where the first foreign salute to the new American nation occurred in 1776. It now houses a museaum that's well worth a visit.
In front of the fort is Emancipation Park, a beautifully landscaped, tree-shaded place right on the waterfront. It's popular with tourists and residents alike, and it's a great place to just relax, breathe in the clean air, and enjoy the views. The Customs House is south of the fort and is one of the 18th century structures that survived the fires. A little farther south is Victoria House, a landmark private home which is a great example of Victorian architecture.
There are also several historical churches around town that are worth a look. Holy Trinity Lutheran Curch is the oldest church in the city. It was erected in 1792, replacing an even older wood structure. It's located at Hill and Hospital Street, right across from the town cemetary. St Paul's Anglican Church occupies a structure erected in 1812 and expanded in 1848 with a tower made of local stone and Danish bricks. It's at the corner of Hill and New streets. St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church was built in 1848 and is located near the north end of Hospital Street.
Besides the town's historical attractions, there's the Frederiksted Pier, a modern concrete structure just south of the fort which juts over 300 yards into the turquoise Caribbean sea. It's a great place to take a stroll and get a different view of the town.
There are a number of excellent beaches just to the north and south of town, as well as several good restaurants and some nice smaller hotels.
Not far away you'll also find attractions like the Rain Forest, Sandy Point Wildlife Refuge, and Estate Whim Plantation.
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