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Grenada: Fort Frederick

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Fort Frederick | Grenada | Americas

[Visited: October 2011]

An early rise on a Sunday morning, as I expected, there were very few people out in the streets. I walked the Carenage, that picturesque stretch of waterfront in St. George's, considering my options. The sun had just started to rise in the sky, and I as looking for a place with a good view of the city. Someone walked down the stairs I was climbing, and I asked him the way to Fort Frederick. He smiled, thought it over a little, and offered to take me up there. We had a most pleasant drive up the hill, in which it turned out that my new friend was a local music hero. In fact, people in the street waved at him. Sometimes you instantly feel at ease with a person; this was a point in case.

Picture of Fort Frederick (Grenada): View of the inner wall of Fort Frederick

On top of the hill, there are actually two forts, Fort Matthew and Fort Frederick, the latter being the better maintained. The French built it in 1779 on Richmond Hill, and interestingly, it was built against attacks from inland - that is how the French had surprised the English just before. But the fort would be conquered by the English, to be used against its own founders; another example of how common power shifts in this region were in the 18th century. For defence against naval attacks, there was of course Fort George below; the hinterland offered plenty opportunities to surprise the current power holder. Exploring the fort does not take much time, as it is quite small. There are a few caverns to see, powder magazines, and a cistern.

Picture of Fort Frederick (Grenada): Stairs leading up to Fort Frederick

But the main reason to visit Fort Frederick is, surely, for its magnificent views of the southern part of the island. The French have certainly found a perfect place from which to keep an eye on developments in all directions: the city of St. George's with its carenage, the boats docked in its harbour, Fort George, the surrounding hills of the capital city, the mountains of central Grenada, and as far as the southwest point of the island, including the airport. It was a clear morning, and the views were fantastic; a faint rainbow even appeared over one of the hills. It was time to have breakfast (I knew it was not going to be easy to find on Sunday morning), and when I left, I noticed that I was still the only visitor to this great panoramic viewpoint.

Picture of Fort Frederick (Grenada): View from Fort Frederick: the interior of Grenada
Picture of Fort Frederick (Grenada): Entrance gate to Fort Frederick
Picture of Fort Frederick (Grenada): View of a wall of the upper part of Fort Frederick
Picture of Fort Frederick (Grenada): Rainbow over a hill near St. George's, seen from Fort Frederick
Picture of Fort Frederick (Grenada): Well kept grassy interior of Fort Frederick

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