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Arsenal on Display at Fort Christiansvaer in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
Photography by Carol Lee

Fort Christiansvaern of St. Croix

Written by Julie Greiner

Fort Christiansvaern is a typical 17th century European military fort. As many other buildings in Christiansted, it was constructed primarily of yellow brick brought from Denmark in sailing ships. The fort dates back to 1749 and last modified for use as a fort in 1841. Fort Christiansvaern protected the island from pirates, enforced the collection of taxes and housed Danish troops who were responsible for the internal security of the fort. In 1878 the fort was converted to a police station and courthouse.
Fort Christiansvaer in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
Photography by Carol Lee
The National Park service has since restored the Fort to its original appearance as a military establishment of the 1830's.

Historic Structures at Christiansted

The Steeple Building, the Church of Our Lord God of Sabbath, was completed in 1753. The steeple was added in the late 1700s. In 1831 the congregation moved to a new location instead of make costly repairs. The Steeple Building, as it is known, was later converted and used in various ways such as a military bakery, hospital and school. The Steeple Building has since been restored to its original 1800's appearance and now serves as the Historic Site's principal museum. The Danish Customs House, where the colonial government carried out the collection of customs revenues and dates back to 1751 now serves as
St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
Photography by Carol Lee
headquarters for the Historic Site. The Danish West India & Guinea Company Warehouse dated back to 1749 had such uses as storage, slave auction yard - now houses the post office and U.S. customs.




The Government House

The Government House originally consisted of two town houses. The central wing dates back from 1747. It originally was the residence of Johan Wilhelm Schopen, a merchant and Inspector of Buildings. The residence was later purchased and used as the governors residence in 1771. The reception hall and ballroom on the second floor, now restored to its appearance in the 1840s, is the only part of the building usually open to the public.

The King Christian Hotel, which dates back some 200 years, was originally used as a warehouse. The building has been a barrack for the Danish Gendarmes, headquarters for the Harbor Masters and other sailors. The hotel is presently undergoing massive restoration. If you look out over the balcony from your room, you will observe that the other historic buildings are surrounding you. They comprise the Christiansted national Historic District.



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