Top Historical Landmarks in Antigua that History Majors Need to See

As a student currently enrolled in a masters degree in history, you spend a lot of time reading and studying from books and online sources. While this definitely gives you a better understanding of the country and the world in general, nothing quite beats seeing these famous historical landmarks in person.

If you’ve been busy eyeing a sun destination such as the tropical island of Antigua, then you’re in for a real treat. You can actually take some of that knowledge you’re busy learning in your masters of history online program at a top school like Norwich University, and apply it in real life as you take in the must-see historical landmarks in Antigua. So what are those top landmarks, let’s take a closer look.

St. John’s Cathedral

Found high upon a hilltop in St. John’s, is the St. John’s Cathedral. This Anglican Church features two stunning white towers that were actually built on the fossilized reef. The original church was destroyed in 1683 and 1745 by earthquakes, but each time was rebuilt. The current structure was built in 1845.

As an added note of interest, the entrance to the church has pillars that show the Biblical figures of St John the Baptist and St John the Divine. These were taken from a French ship back in 1756 by HMS temple.

Shirley Heights

If you enjoy learning about military history, then the Shirley Heights Lookout is a must-visit. This is a restored gun battery and a military lookout that stands 490 feet high. Today, it offers you a 360-degree view of the island and its surrounding water, but back in 1781, it was the one stronghold Britain had in the West Indies. There was a lot of focus put into the defenses here on Antigua and Shirley Heights played a big role in it.

Fort James

Fort James is another military landmark that was originally built in order to protect St. John’s harbor. Antigua is known for its many forts, many of which still stand today. The forts were all built by the British and were meant to ward off an invasion by the French. Today, you’ll be able to explore the foundation of the fort’s wall, which still stands, a number of cannons, and powder magazines. It’s like stepping right inside the history books.

Monk’s Hill

Turning back the pages of history even further is Monk’s Hill. This fort was one of the very first built to fortify the entrance to Falmouth Harbor. It dates back to 1689. Surprisingly, there is still quite a lot left to explore here, such as the original 33 cannons, magazines, water cisterns, the ruins from the original buildings. Keep in mind this one is off the beaten track, so you’ll need to do a fair amount of exploring by foot.

Antigua Offers Up a Number of Historical Gems

For history students, there really is no better lesson than exploring historical sites in person, and that’s exactly what you’ll be able to do in Antigua.