Fort Fincastle and Queen’s Staircase

Elisabeth Ave, Nassau, The Bahamas

One of the smaller forts in the Bahamas sits right at the heart of downtown Nassau. Fort Fincastle was built from cut limestone atop Bennett’s Hill to defend Nassau from pirates. One of the most notable features near the fort and historic complex is the Queen’s Staircase, a 66-step stairway hewn from solid rock by slaves to connect the fort to the city. You can walk the stairs as you make your way to the fort, then enjoy a great view of the city and the coastline. If you’re counting steps, you’ll notice that there are only 65; that’s because the final step is buried under the modern asphalt paving at the bottom.

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Fort Fincastle and the Queen’s Staircase

Sitting atop Bennett’s Hill, the highest point on the island, this limestone fortress was built in 1793 by British colonialists to protect Nassau’s harbor from invasion. (Its cannons were never fired, but the site still offers spectacular views over the city and of ships offshore.) An especially important part of the fort complex is the Queen’s Staircase, a set of 66 limestone steps that were laboriously hewn out of the solid rock by slaves; they connect Fort Fincastle to downtown Nassau.

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