The oldest building in continuous use on St. Thomas, Fort Christian once successfully repelled foreign invaders from a bygone era, but today, the fortress stands as a monument to colonialism and exhibits the history of the Caribbean from the Stone Age to the present, while also offering a fine display of Dutch antiques. Book a sightseeing tour that includes a stop at the fort to see exhibits of historical photos and documents, period furniture, displays on local flora and fauna, and more. The landmark was closed due to damage caused by hurricanes in 2017, but reopened in 2018. The museum offers both self-guided and guided tours on site.
Things to know before you go
- The roof of the fort offers panoramic views of the harbor.
- The fort also serves as a venue for community events such as weddings and concerts.
- During the restoration process, which began in 2005, human remains were discovered that are now housed in a small tomb in the chapel area.
How to get there
Fort Christian is located between Veterans Drive and Emancipation Garden in the St. Thomas town of Charlotte Amalie. There is a parking lot east of the fort, across from the Legislature Building. Tours typically include round-trip transportation from the cruise port. Taxis are also readily available in Charlotte Amalie. It’s about a 5- to 10-minute drive from the dock to Fort Christian.
When to get there
The museum is open throughout the year with guided tours regularly available. The opening hours are typically morning until mid-afternoon, although it’s best to check the opening schedule before visiting. Hurricane season in the Caribbean takes place from June to November. If you're planning to travel during this time, you may want to purchase travel insurance in case you need to cancel due to the weather.
With a dark past as a former slave-trading market, this square in Charlotte Amalie, which is within walking distance of Fort Christian, now serves as an open-air fruit and vegetable market. Here, you can sample the island’s fresh produce, including the local specialty—genips. Commonly known as a “Spanish lime,” the small fruit has green skin and peach-colored flesh inside.