fort nassau

The Nassau Forts

Fort Charlotte

In the city of Nassau, various fortresses were built to protect it from pirates and invaders, such as those of Fort Fincastle and Fort Montagu. One of the largest is Fort Charlotte, built by Governor Lord Dunmore in 1788 and named after the wife of King George III, Queen Saharia Charlotte. There are 42 cannons mounted on the upper level and on the walls. This fort was built to guard the western entrance to the Port of Nassau but was never actually used.

Unlike Fort Fincastle, a visit to Fort Charlotte, its moat and tunnels is a true discovery of the history of the city of Nassau and the Bahamas.

Video Fort Charlotte

The view of Nassau is one of the best attributes of Fort Charlotte. Standing atop the imposing limestone structure, overlooking the waterless moat, dungeons and drawbridge, you can also watch cruise ships enter the harbour and imagine a time when pirate ships filled with looted gold or colonial ships with Africans as cargo came in and out of the harbour. It has several interior rooms to explore and historical exhibits. If you are a history buff, a guided tour may not do you justice. As an occasional visitor, the tour is quick, giving you time to wander around independently.

W Bay St, Nassau, Bahamas

Fort Fincastle

Built at the end of the 18th century, it offers a magnificent view of Nassau. Taking advantage of this altitude, it served as a lighthouse until 1819, and since then it has been used as a signal tower. To reach its summit, one climbs what is called the Queen’s Staircase, probably the highest point in the city.

Video Fort Fincastle

The interior can be visited from Monday to Sunday, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Bennet’s Hill, Prison Lane, Nassau

Fort Montagu

The oldest of the island’s three forts, Montagu was built in 1741 out of local limestone to repel the Spanish invaders. The only action it experienced was a two-week occupation by American rebel troops – including a lieutenant named John Paul Jones – in search of weapons and ammunition during the War of Independence. The small fortification is quite simple, but it offers a beautiful view of the port of Nassau. The second level is occupied by a number of weathered cannons. A recently renovated and restored public beach overlooks Montagu Bay, where many international yacht regattas and Bahamian sloop races are held each year.

Video Fort Montagu

E Bay St, Bahamas