History & Culture
Christiansted National Historic Site, on the island of St Croix in the Virgin Islands, was established in 1952 through the initiative of concerned local citizens. The park’s mandate is twofold - to preserve the historic structure and grounds within its boundaries, and to interpret the Danish economy and way of life here between 1733 and 1917. The park consists of seven acres centered on the Christiansted waterfront/wharf area. On the grounds are five historic structures: Fort Christiansvaern (1738), the Danish West India & Guinea Company Warehouse (1749), the Steeple Building (1753), Danish Custom House (1844), and the Scale House (1856). The National Park Service uses these resources to interpret the drama and diversity of the human experience at Christiansted during Danish sovereignty – colonial administration, the military and naval establishment, international trade (including the slave trade), religious diversity, architecture, trades, and crime and punishment.
Did You Know?
Fort Christiansvaern (“Christian’s Defense”) was named in honor of King Christian VI of Denmark and Norway. Its design was based on standardized European military architecture and it took hundreds of enslaved Africans and Danish Military 11 years to build.