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CULTURE & HISTORY

St. Thomas's history and culture alone are worth a visit to the island. Fort Christian, a U.S. National Landmark, is the oldest standing structure in the Virgin Islands and home to the Virgin Islands Museum, where early island memorabilia and old maps trace the islands' history. Market Square, a bustling produce marketplace, was once one of the West Indies' busiest 18th-century slave markets.

Also of interest is the Synagogue of Beracha Veshalom Vegmiluth Hasidim, the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the United States. On nearby Government Hill, looming over Charlotte Amalie, stands Blackbeard's Castle. Known during colonial times as Skytsborg, this 17th-century fortified tower also serves as a popular restaurant and hotel.

Located in the hills not far from the heart of Charlotte Amalie, Government House has been the center of government in St. Thomas since the mid-1860s. Visitors interested in seeing St. Thomas's political life may tour the building's first two floors. The 99 Steps, made by bricks that were once used as ballast on Danish and British ships, were built into the hillside to keep the orderly grid of the city intact.

Historic Places of Worship
Made in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Links to Cultural Organizations
Cultural Events

HISTORIC PLACES OF WORSHIP

Cathedral Church of All Saints

Built in 1848 from stone quarried on the island, this church has thick, arched window frames lined with yellow brick that was used as ballast aboard ships. Merchants left the brick on the waterfront to make room aboard their boats for molasses, sugar, mahogany, and rum for the return voyage. The church was built in celebration of the end of slavery.
Address: 3 Domini Gade, Garden Street, St. Thomas.
Phone: 340-774-0217

Frederick Lutheran Church

Located steps away from Main Street, this church was the official church of the Danish West Indies. The building went up in 1793 and replaced two earlier buildings that were destroyed by fire. It has since been refurbished. 340-776-1315 / www.felc1666.org

Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cathedral

Completed in 1848, this stunning cathedral serves as the seat of the Territory’s Roman Catholic Diocese. Mural paintings on the ceiling and walls depict more than 12 major scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Presently undergoing restoration, the Cathedral is open daily for services and welcomes visitors of all faiths. Complimentary tours available by appointment. 340-774-0201 / www.catholicvi.com

St. Thomas Reformed Church

Established around 1660, this church has the oldest congregation in the Virgin Islands. Organized by Dutch traders as the St. Thomas Protestant Reformed Dutch Church, early services were held in Fort Christian. The first church was built in the mid-1670s and remained in use until at least 1731. In the 1740s a new church was built on Snegle Gade, which burned in 1804, two years before the replacement was again destroyed by a fire in 1806. Today, visitors can attend worship services on Sundays at 9:00 AM with Rev. Jeffrey Neevel.
Address: Located at the corner of Nye Gade & Crystal Gade (3 1/2 blocks in from the waterfront, in the historic district of Charlotte Amalie)
Phone: (340) 776-8255
Website: www.stthomasreformedchurch.org

St. Thomas Synagogue

As one of the oldest synagogues in the Western Hemisphere, this synagogue is an architectural and historical gem in the middle of the Caribbean. The sand-covered floors are a carryover of the congregation’s Sephardic tradition. Visitors of all faiths are welcome to experience the simple and stately interior of this National Historic Landmark. 340-774-4312 www.usvi.net/usvi/syngogue.html

MADE IN THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

  • Alton’s Body Adornments

    St. Thomas

    Phone: 340-776-9479

    Planner
  • Eloi’s Leather Crafts

    St. Thomas

    Phone: 340-998-1852

    Planner
  • Gladys Café

    St. Thomas

    Phone: 340-774-6604

    Planner
  • J.O.I. (Jewel of the Isles)

    St. Thomas

    Phone: 340-775-3695

    Planner
  • Native Arts & Crafts Cooperative

    Dolls, cards, local music, hoop/vine baskets, liqueurs, seasonings, wood carvings

    St. Thomas

    Phone: 340-777-1153

    Planner
  • Tillett Gardens

    Ceramics, jewelry, silkscreening artists, hand-painted items

    St. Thomas

    Phone: 340-775-1929

    www.tillettgardens.com

    Planner

LINKS TO CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

CULTURAL EVENTS

  • Agricultural and Food Fair

    UVI Grounds, Reichhold Center, St. Thomas

    November

    Phone: 340-693-1080

    Planner
  • Arts Alive Annual Holiday Arts &Crafts and Music Festival

    Tillett Gardens, St. Thomas

    November

    Phone: 340-776-8566

    www.tillettgardens.com

    Planner
  • Arts Alive Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts and Music Festival

    Tillett Gardens, St. Thomas

    May

    Phone: 340-776-8566

    www.tillettgardens.com

    Planner
  • Friendship Day

    Planner
  • Transfer Day

    Legislature Building, St. Thomas

    March 31

    Planner
  • USVI-BVI

    October

    Phone: 340-774-0100

    Planner
  • USVI-Puerto Rico Friendship Day

    Emancipation Gardens

    October; Columbus Day Weekend

    Phone: 340-774-0100 x8049, 8050 or 340-777-8267

    Planner
  • Virgin Islands Carnival

    Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

    April

    Phone: 340-776-3112

    www.vicarnival.com

    Planner