The tour began with a long bumpy drive up a steep mountain that led to the entrance of the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park. Along the way, the road shaded with lush green trees on both sides that were occupied by a variety of birds happily singing their tunes.
The Tour Guide explained that the fortress was located at the top of the mountain because it was easier for the soldiers to see their enemies at sea. It also made it a whole lot harder for an enemy to gain access to the fortress whether on foot or with transportation.
Finally, I arrived at the Brimstone Hill Fortress-the Gibraltar of the West Indies! The fort was initially designed and built in the year 1690 and completed in 1790. Yes, a hundred years later! As a result of the guidance of British engineers and the hard labor of the African slaves, over two hundred years later, it was still in excellent condition.
As I entered the Fort George Museum, I understood how that was possible. Through various restoration projects, the Brimstone Hill Fortress was able to preserve its original look and beauty. A detailed outline of the preservation process is an exhibit that is called “The Brimstone Hill-The Restoration Story.” The museum was small. Therefore, checking out the various exhibitions didn’t take much time. I then proceeded to watch a short film about the Brimstone Hill Fortress in the viewing room.
There were a few things that I learned from watching the video. Firstly, limestone was a significant component in the mortar that kept the stones cemented together. Limestone was also the principal ingredient used to build forts throughout the western hemisphere. Secondly, African slaves built the fortress on top of the natural stone that formed as a result of the environmental elements. Lastly, Brimstone Hill is located 800 feet high above sea level. No wonder why it took so long to drive up there.
Afterwards, I stepped outside and went on a self-guided tour of The Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park! The beautiful panoramic views were breathtaking! I could see cultivated fields, the Sandy Point Town, surrounding mountains decorated with trees and the silhouette of the French, English and Dutch Islands on the horizon of the Caribbean Sea.
As I continued my tour, I visited the Magazine Bastion, Orillion Bastion, the Prince of Wales Bastion, and the water catch with stone wall emplacements. Canons lined the walls as a weapon of defense. Despite the canons visible appearance, there wasn’t a live weapons demonstration like at the Castillo de San Marcos Fort in St. Augustine, Florida. Nonetheless, I still had fun visiting the fort. I saw the soldiers quarters, chief meeting offices and a few empty rooms that possibly used for training soldiers.
Overall, I had a fabulous time exploring The Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park!
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