The Legend of Blackbeard the Pirate
Blackbeard’s Hill has been a prime residential neighborhood since colonial times. As you stroll through this old historical district you can easily imagine what life was like in centuries past.
The Danes took possession of St. Thomas in 1671 and built Fort Christian. The observation tower, Skytsborg, better known as Blackbeard’s Castle, was built in 1697, and guaranteed safety for the area’s wealthy residents who could seek refuge if there was an attack by man or nature.
It Stands Against The Test Of Time
The attacks by man never came, and nature’s destructive forces have failed to put a dent in the Tower. It has withstood hurricanes and earthquakes and served as a vantage for the deadly fires that swept the town of Charlotte Amalie in the first half of the 1800’s.
The U.S. purchased the Virgin Islands from Denmark in 1917 to protect the Panama Canal. Today, Blackbeard’s Hill has become a living museum of gracious colonial-era manor houses that are open to the public. They peacefully co-exist alongside residential homes of private citizens. Those who live in the neighborhood are still among the island’s elite and you’ll find homes of island entrepreneurs merchants, architects, church and civic leaders. Until recently, the governor himself resided in a palatial apartment on the top floors of elegant 1867 Government House on Kongens Gade at the base of the hill.