Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The City of Bridgetown, population 5,928 (1990), formerly the Town of Saint Michael, is the Capital city of the island nation of Barbados. Geographically Bridgetown lies on the southwestern coast of the island along the Caribbean Sea. The city is within the parish of Saint Michael, and shares a part of the border with the parish of Christ Church.
Although the island was totally abandoned or uninhabited when the British landed there, some of the only traces of an indigenous tribe's pre-existence on the island was a very primitive bridge constructed over the Careenage("Constitution River") in the centre of Bridgetown.
It is suspected that this bridge was created by a people indigenous to the Caribbean known as the Arawak Indians. Upon finding the structure the British settlers began to call what is now the Bridgetown area, Indian Bridge.
It is widely believed that the Arawaks were driven from Barbados to the neighboring island of Saint Lucia, during an invasion by another peoples indigenous to the region known as the Carib Indians tribe. Eventually after 1654 when a new bridge was constructed over the Careenage by the British, the town became known as The Town of Saint Michael and later Bridgetown, and the final name stuck.
Bridgetown serves as one of the main centres of commercial activity in Barbados, as well as a central hub for the islands' public transport system. Many of the ministries and deparments of the island's government are also located within Bridgetown.
The city has the qualities of a fully modern and thriving city. There is access to many services including a pipe-bourne water supply (said to be naturally among the purest in the world), electricity, natural gas supply, cutting-edge telecommunications, wireless services, internet cafes, and a good overall infrastructure. Bridgetown has local branches to some of the largest banks in the world and English-speaking Caribbean.
The main street which Bridgetown is known for is Broad Street which runs through the centre of the city, passes the Parliament Buildings and serves as a shopping area. Another major traffic artery into the city is Bay Street(which turns into Highway 7) and will lead you toward the South Coast of Barbados and the Parish of Christ Church. There are also other notable streets in Bridgetown.
Other notable streets in Bridgetown included:
- Swan Street - which is parallel to Broad Street, to the north.
- Roebuck Street - which leads towards Queens Park to the North, and East of Swan Street.
- Tudor Street - which comes from the north, intersects Swan Street and runs perpendicular to Broad Street.
Landmarks / Points of Interest
- National Heros Square (formerly Trafalgar Square) and Fountain Garden 
- Parliament Buildings of Barbados,
- Saint Michaels Cathedral,
- Pierhead Development Complex
Main article: Economy of Barbados
The City of Bridgetown also has a well regulated stock exchange which lists securities for native and Caribbean companies and corporations.
Business / Specifics
Business: Banks are open 8am-3pm, Hours: Monday to Thursday, and 8am-5pm on Fridays.
The main banks are:
- Barclays Bank (see FirstCaribbean International Bank ),
- Bank of Nova Scotia,
- Barbados National Bank,
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) (see FirstCaribbean International Bank ),
- Caribbean Commercial Bank and
- Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
Cash dispensers (ATM)s are available.
Shops are open:
- 8am-6pm weekdays and
- 8am-noon Saturdays.
Payment cards are widely accepted.
Electricity: 110 volts AC, 50 cycles. Most hotels have 220 AC.
Telecommunications: the international dialling code for Barbados is 1-246 followed by seven digits. On the island, use the seven digits alone. When on the island, to call anywhere in the United States or Canada simply dial 1+(area code) + seven digit phone number.
Emergency Numbers: Police: 211(emergency only) Fire: 311 Ambulance: 511 Coast Guard and Defense Force: (246) 427-8819
Main article: Transportation_in_Barbados
All seven of Barbados's primary Highways begin close to the City of Bridgetown, in the Parish of Saint_Michael, they all fan-out to the North, South and East to other parts of the island.
For public buses that head northward, and many other locations in St. Micheal including the University of the West Indies - (Cave Hill Campus), and other locations north including Speightstown proceed to the "Lower Bus Stand" along Lower Broad Street to the west of the city centre. For points east and south proceed to the "Upper Bus Stand", which is along the Careenage and eastern end of the city near to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) Building.
The Bridgetown Port("Deep Water Harbour") is capable of both hosting and berthing of cruise ships or the handling of cargos. The Deep Water Harbour lies northwest of the Careenage Canal along the Princess Alice Highway, and west of the city's centre.
The Harbour port acts as one of the major shipping and transhipment hubs from international locations for the entire Eastern Caribbean. Recently the Bridgetown Port was dredged to allow safe access and berthing for the new league of "super cruise ships". The dredging project was completed in 2002 and the city can now host many of the largest cruise ships in the world.
The port of Bridgetown also handles goods for the domestic needs of the island. The island's main exports of mainly agricultural products also make use of the Harbour facilities.
Bridgetown also has a smaller canal in the centre of the city which is an inlet from the Caribbean Sea named The Careenage. It is a more shallow canal but is just large enough for pleasure craft and fishing boats. The Careenage should not be confused with the Deep Water Harbour, The Careenage has two main bridges near city center which spans the shallow Careenage.
In 2004 the capital of Bridgetown celebrated it's 375th Anniversary of Establishment, and did so with a year long calendar of events and twinning agreements with a new city and town in Canada and the United States.
Bridgetown is a Sister City with some of the following cities:
- Bridgetown, Nova Scotia, Canada (July, 2004 twinning)
- Wilmington, North Carolina, USA (June 28, 2004)
Shops and Malls
- Cave Shepherd
- Colombian Emeralds
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