Frederiksted is a picturesque water front town. It was established in 1751 and it is the second largest town in St. Croix. It is a lovely historic town that is easily explored in one day. Federiksted is built in a Victorian style; this was the style chosen after the original buildings were destroyed in a fire in 1758. Centuries ago Federiksted competed with Christiansted as a port of trade; Christiansted became the more important of the two. However, Federiksted would also have its day of glory and it’s mark in history. The fort at Federiksted fired the first foreign salute in honor of America in 1776. It is still called the Freedom City, a name it earned as an ally to the British colonies that became America.
A National Historic Landmark, the red and white Fort Frederik was built in the 1750's to ward off pirates. It is an excellent place to visit and learn about the importance of the U.S.V.I. in world history. In 1776, the first salute from foreign soil to the new nation of the United States of America was fired from the fort. The salute of Old Glory which had been raised on an American brigantine at port in Frederiksted was a violation of the laws of Denmark’s neutrality however the islands had helped the British colonist in America sealing a friendliness between the two colonies, and the salute was therefore appropriate. It is from this fort that Danish Governor Peter Von Scholten emancipated the slaves on July 3rd, 1848. The fort includes a museum and art gallery, it is open weekdays from 8:30am to 4pm, and Saturdays from 1pm to 4pm. Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.
The area right in front of the Frederiksted fort and waterfront has been made into a beautiful town park. It contains statues of historically important Virgin Islanders. Small paths weave through dozens of large Mahogany trees and fragrant flowers. This pleasant Federiksted park honors the slave revolt leader General Buddhoe and also serves to recall and honor the 1848 proclamation by Governor Peter von Scholten that emancipated slaves in the Danish islands. The park has many benches and a small gazebo.
There are many historical buildings in Frederiksted that have been converted into offices and stores. The one photographed here is the Customs House on the Frederiksted Waterfront. The customs house is an elegant eighteenth century building. Many other buildings exist including churches and government buildings. You can walk through Frederiksted on a historical tour with a guide, this is the recommended way to learn and appreciate the small town, or you can walk around by yourself. Small shops and restaurants are also located within the mix of historically important buildings.
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