Basseterre in Focus

Travel Team
By Travel Team 2 Min Read

Situated on the Caribbean shores of the island’s southwest, Basseterre is the capital city of St. Kitts. Basseterre began life as an official settlement in 1626 when it was established as a French colony, hence its name, which translates as ‘low-land’ in reference to the city’s strategic valley location. 

Small enough to explore on foot, history abounds in Basseterre as a significant Caribbean outpost. A flourishing port town, both today and in bygone centuries, in 1660 it was named the colony capital of the French West Indies. 

Basseterre’s colonial heritage is evidenced by its architectural footprint, including ornate Georgian buildings with elegant verandas and traditional ‘skirt-and-blouse’ style houses, although many of the French and British buildings were wiped out during the devastating fire of 1867. 

For history aficionados, a walking tour is highly recommended to guide you through the many stories behind Basseterre’s rich past – including landmarks like Independence Square, the centre around which the city developed, to St. George’s Anglican Church, which is home to the oldest pipe organ in the Western Hemisphere. 

Basseterre remains a thriving contemporary location with many shops, cafes and restaurants to enjoy. The majority of people arrive here through the ‘gateway to the island’, passing through the archway of the Old Treasury Building at Port Zante, now home to the National Museum. 

The city’s thriving epicentre is The Circus – a plaza whose original design was modelled on London’s Piccadilly Circus. On a Friday, you will find it heaving, as locals come here to lime – sitting, drinking and relaxing long into the night.

Read Issue 15 of Outlook Travel Magazine