From the summit of Brimstone Hill, nine hundred feet above the leeward coast of St Kitts, the view extends not just across the island but far out to sea, with the islands of St Martin, Anguilla, Montserrat, Saba, and Sint Eustatius in the near or far distance. Today that means incredible photos for tourists, but a few centuries back, during the long period when European powers vied for supremacy in the Caribbean, Brimstone Hill’s prospect made it an ideal site for a fortress. Gradually constructed by the British over a period of more than a century, built by enslaved labour with local volcanic stone, the fort boasts five terraced bastions, once bristling with cannon. A national park since 1987 and recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, Brimstone Hill remains a stark reminder of the colonial era that shaped today’s Caribbean.
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