Kingston (population 600,000) is the capital of Jamaica and it is located southeast of the country. It is settled in a natural harbour, protected by the Palisadoes, a long sandspit which connects Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island.
Note that Kingston the city (often called Greater Kingston or the "Corporate Area") is much larger than the Parish of Kingston (that includes only the old Downtown and Port Royal). Much of the "Corporate Area" is situated in the Parish of St. Andrew.
Founded in 1693 by the British, after a disastrous earthquake destroyed much of the previous capital of Port Royal (French for King's Port), the city became the seat of administration for Jamaica in 1872, keeping the status when the island was granted independence in 1962. On January 14, 1907 an earthquake in Kingston killed more than 1,000 people.
Apart from being the seat of the Jamaican Government, the city is also home to the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies founded in 1948. Several annual and well-visited festivals are held in Kingston.
Two parts comprise the central area of Kingston: Downtown, which is its historic yet troubled part and New Kingston, which is home to the city's most visited attraction, the Bob Marley Museum, built at his home. Several other reggae stars, including Buju Banton and Beenie Man, also hail from Kingston. Other attractions include the nearby Hellshire and Lime Cay beaches, the National Gallery of Jamaica, and Devon house, a mansion with adjoining park that once belonged to Jamaica's first black millionaire, as well as the ruins of Port Royal.
Kingston is served by Norman Manley International Airport. At Tinson Pen, there is an airport serving flights within Jamaica, including those to Montego Bay.
Courtney Walsh (1962-) is a world famous cricketer who was born in Kingston.
Jamaica National Heritage Trust
Gleaner Article about Devon House
Kingston City Guide
Last updated: 05-06-2005 11:30:08
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04