Port Royal on Jamaica

Friday, 22 May 2015 - 08:17 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Port Royal Cays © NASA World Wind

Port Royal Cays © NASA World Wind

Port Royal is a city located at the end of the Palisadoes at the mouth of the Kingston Harbour, in southeastern Jamaica. Founded in 1518, it was the centre of shipping commerce in the Caribbean Sea during the latter half of the 17th century. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1692 and a subsequent tsunami, and fires. Severe hurricanes have regularly damaged it. Another severe earthquake occurred in 1907.

Port Royal was once home to privateers employed to nip at superpower Habsburg Spain‘s empire when smaller European powers dared not directly make war on Spain. As a port city, it was notorious for its gaudy displays of wealth and loose morals. It was a popular homeport for the English and Dutch sponsored privateers to spend their treasure during the 17th century. When those governments abandoned the practice of issuing letters of marque to privateers against the Spanish treasure fleets and possessions in the later 16th century, many of the crews turned pirate and used the city as their main base during the 17th century. Pirates from around the world congregated at Port Royal, coming from waters as far away as Madagascar.

Port Royal © flickr.com - Jessica Wadsworth/cc-by-2.0 The barque Woodmansterne calling for a pilot at Port Royal by John Lynn, 1828 Port Royal before the earthquake © Popular Science Monthly, Volume 40, 1892 Port Royal after the earthquake © Popular Science Monthly, Volume 40, 1892 'A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica' by James Hakewill, 1820 Port Royal Cays © NASA World Wind
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The barque Woodmansterne calling for a pilot at Port Royal by John Lynn, 1828
After the 1692 disaster, Port Royal’s commercial role was steadily taken over by the town (and later, city) of Kingston. Current plans for Port Royal will redevelop the small fishing town into a tourist destination serviced by cruise ships. It is going to capitalize on its heritage, with archaeological findings at the heart of the attractions.

Today, Port Royal is known to post-medieval archaeologists as the “City that Sank”. It is considered the most important underwater archaeological site in the western hemisphere by Robert Marx, yielding 16th–and-17th-century artifacts and many important treasures from indigenous peoples predating the 1588 founding, some from as far away as Guatemala. Several 17th and early 18th century pirate ships sank within Kingston Harbour and are being carefully harvested under controlled conditions by different teams of archaeologists. Other “digs” are staked out along various quarters and streets by different teams. Port Royal has been featured as a location within Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean film series, though much of the location work for Port Royal was actually done on the island of Saint Vincent, not in Jamaica.

Read more on Wikipedia Port Royal. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Johns Hopkins University & Medicine - Coronavirus Resource Center - Global Passport Power Rank - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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