Located in Charlotte Amalie are three of the oldest
and most prominent structures in the U.S. Virgin Islands: Fort Christian, Blackbeard's Castle and Bluebeard's Castle which
together form a triangle with Government Hill located in the middle.
protect the Charlotte Amalie harbor from attackers, the original plans for Fort Christian called for a water-filled moat to
surround the fort, but the builders eventually decided on using cactus instead.
Some suggest that the site for Government House was selected because of the placement of the three
lookouts and fortresses armed with cannons ready and able to protect the Government Hill area from pirates and any other possible
Blackbeard's Castle est. 1678
Located high on the hillside
of Charlotte Amalie is Blackbeard's Castle. Built in 1678, it is claimed to be the former home of
the notorious pirate Edward Teach better known as Blackbeard. The "castle" sits on the hillside directly
behind Government Hill and to the north of the Charlotte Amalie Harbor.
Upon entering the Seven
Arches Museum you will be guided on a 15 to 30 minute tour of the house and courtyard. Your will learn about the island's
history as well as the history of some of it's most important leaders and families. The curator, Barbara Demaras does
all of the tours herself and makes sure to cater her tour to your specific taste and is a wealth of knowledge about the Virgin
Islands history. This is your opportunity to learn about the people, culture, music, plants and food of the
islands. Its like tasting spoon full of West Indian food, culture and history all in one delicious scoop.
Seven Arches Museum est. 1802
The Seven Arches Museum is a two-story yellow stone, brick and coral structure
which serves as an excellent living example of 18th century Danish West Indian architecture. Built
in the late 1700's and named for the seven arches that support the home's main staircase, this is
the only private residence museum in St. Thomas that is open to the public. The museum
also boasts one of the few remaining outdoor kitchens in the Virgin Islands.
sure to also see the collection of Danish West Indian coins, stationary and Royal Copanhagen dishes that were once
used by the homeowners. The house is painstakenly decorated as it would have been back around the turn
of the century. Visitors are urged to relax and take a break from the hurried pace of the mainland and appreciate the
sweet sounds, smells and tastes that the islands have to offer.
View from the Government Hill Garden
Seven Arches offers
an excellent view of the St. Thomas harbor and cruise ship terminal. Cool tropical breezes make
the short walk up Government Hill a very pleasant as well as very rewarding experience for those willing to venture
a few steps off the beaten path. The Seven Arches Museum offers a
dramatic view of the Charlotte Amalie harbor and the cruise ship terminal. As you enter
the museum grounds the first thing that you see is the "welcoming arms" staircase and the assortment
of beautiful flowers as well as many small humming birds and "yellow breasts"
which are everywhere in the courtyard.
Bluebeard's Castle est. 1688
On the hillside
behind the Charlotte Amalie harbor is Bluebeard's Castle which was built around 1688 and overlooks the entire town below.
Virgin Islands History Timeline:
* 1493 Christoper Columbus discovered the Virgin Islands on his second voyage to the New
* 1733 Slaves revolt due to harsh living conditions.
The picture above is of the mill on Annaberg Plantation on St. John.
* 1848 Slavery was abolished in the Danish West Indies.
1971 The United States purchased the Danish West Indies from Denmark for $25,000,000.
* 1937 Virgin Islanders granted U.S. citizenship.
* 1950's the Virgin Islands becomes a major tourist destination. Cuba closed to Americans in 1962.
* 1960's week-long Carnival celebration becomes one of the largest inthe Caribbean.
* Professional athletes Emile Griffith (boxer), Alvin Mc Bean, Elrod Hendricks and Horace
Clark (baseball) hail the islands. NBA basketball
superstar Tim Duncan also did much to bring national recognition and publicity to the islands.
The "99 Steps" located on Government Hill was constructed
in the same way as many of the local buildings. The steps were built using balast stones that were carried aboard ships
traveling to the Virgin Islands. Upon reaching the Virgin Islands, the balsat stones were removed and cargo in
the form of sugar and molasses was loaded.
Seven Arches Museum was also built using yellow ballast bricks and was home to several of the island's most prominant
families like the Bonellis, the De Windts, the Schaltenbrandts and the Corneiros.
From 1906 to 1965 the Seven Arches Museum was known simply as the "Corneiro House".
Fermin Corneiro and his son Conrad Corneiro purchased the home in 1906 and kept it in the family for 60 years.