Serving as Jamaica’s capital for more than 300 years, Spanish Town centres around a historic core that’s clustered with Georgian architecture. It’s home to one of the oldest Anglican churches outside England and Jamaica’s national archives, as well as a historically significant cast-iron bridge that dates back to the early 19th century.
Things to do
Admire the soaring tower of the Cathedral of St. Jago De La Vega, which stands as the oldest Anglican cathedral in the Caribbean. Constructed in 1714 on the site of a 16th-century Spanish cathedral, it features stunning stained-glass windows, an impressive beamed ceiling and unique gargoyles exhibiting distinctly African features.
A short stroll from the cathedral is Rodney's Memorial, a whitewashed monument carved by English sculptor John Bacon in honour of Jamaica’s former Commander in Chief, Admiral George Rodney. Take note of the sculpted panel reliefs that depict the 1782 Battle of the Saints while learning about Rodney’s role in saving Jamaica from a combined French and Spanish invasion.
Spanning the Rio Cobre in Spanish Town’s east is the Old Iron Bridge, which is the first iron bridge ever built in the Caribbean. It was prefabricated in England in 1801 by Englishman Thomas Wilson and is one of only two bridges designed by him that still exist today. It features four arched ribs supported atop huge stone abutments and has been added to the World Monuments Watch as an endangered heritage site.
Spanish Town is a 45-minute drive from the centre of Kingston and an hour from Norman Manley International Airport, which is one of the main gateways to Jamaica. The Spanish Town Transport Hub is served by buses, mini buses and taxis while the historic centre can be explored on foot.