Interesting facts about Nevis island
Nevis island is situated in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, just 1,600 miles from New York City and 1,200 miles from Miami. Only 12,000 inhabitants (but with 90% literacy!) reside on island’s 36 square miles.
In the centre of Nevis island, the dormant volcano Nevis (3,232 ft high) is found which can be visible from all around Nevis, but also from St. Kitts.
The origin of Nevis island name
The island was first named Oualie – The Land of beautiful waters by the native Caribs. Afterwards …
The volcano was named by Christopher Columbus when he first discovered the island in 1493. He thought the white stuff on the top of the volcano was snow so called it Nieve – or Nuestra Señora de Nieves (nieve meaning snow in Spanish). Columbus misunderstood it as it was clouds covering the peak but later on the British couldn’t pronounce Nieves properly and misspelled it as Nevis.
Architecture on Nevis island
The traditional architecture on Nevis is the colonial-era one you can still see now in the capital Charlestown. Most of the time on Nevis island, however, we were surrounded by raw unspoiled nature, for me one of the highlights of the trip.
The architecture on Nevis island is closely connected to the sugar production and its consequences. The sugar cane stopped producing there in 1960’s but on St. Kitts in 2005 which brought big loss to St. Kitts and nowadays we can see that Nevis looks more ”posh” with richer people as it didn’t have to go through any post sugar production crisis. Nevis is very historic with different buildings than on St. Kitts. Big houses with big lands are found around Nevis, unlikely to St. Kitts.
Interesting facts about Nevis island
- In 1774 Nevis had 11,000 inhabitants out of which 10,000 were slaves and 1,000 whites. Nowadays it has just a 1,000 more inhabitants but none of them is a slave.
- Nevis is a very romantic place and great for weddings. It was ranked top 3 of the Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations by Modern Travel Magazine. Most accommodations offer also wedding and honeymoon packages.
- The oldest hotel on Nevis island, Bath hotel built in 1778, is located in the capital Charlestown and now under reconstruction. Nevis is famous for its volcanic water with therapeutic purposes. Just outside of the Bath hotel there used to be 5 different temperature pools which are also getting rebuilt to reopen soon in 2014. Nowadays the old Bath hotel is the seat of government offices, the Premier and the Ministry of Tourism.
- Very interesting is the Horatio Nelson Museum, originally called Nevis museum when it opened on March 22 1992. Nelson, a British Army officer who came to Nevis first in 1785, got imprisoned on Nevis, he got married in Montpelier hotel in 1787 to a Nevisian girl Fanny Nisbet. Later in 1805 Nelson died in the Battle of Trafalgar (yeah, I remember his name from history classes and hope you too!) and his body was sealed in a cask of brandy to preserve it until the burial funeral at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Unfortunately, it is not allowed to take photos in the museum.
- Mr. Robert Abraham, poet and novelist from Philadelphia, donated important artifacts to Nelson museum. The museum also shows older history of Nevis island before Nelson had arrived there – starting with the crafts and pottery of the first inhabitants – the Caribs and Arawaks (2,000 BC), then also the Cattle Mills and slavery during the sugar production.
- St. Thomas Church built in 1643 is the oldest active Anglican church built in the Caribbean.
- Alexander Hamilton was born on Nevis and he is on the $10 bill. Alexander Hamilton got married in St. John’s and the copy of his marriage certificate can still be found there.
- The shortest distance from Nevis to St. Kitts is 2 miles and can be done by water taxis. Antigua and St. Maarten are the closest islands with flights to Nevis.
- Many goats can be found around the island.
- There’s a pretty interesting Jews Burial Ground from 1684 – 1768.
- There is no income tax on Nevis – should I move in here? 🙂
As you can see, Nevis island abounds with natural beauty. ”Nevis naturally” the island motto says it all. Check out more about St. Kitts and Nevis islands.
My trip to Nevis island was a press trip organized by the St. Kitts Tourist Board and Nevis Tourism in the collaboration with local agencies, restaurants and hotels. All the opinions in this article are my own as usual.
*** It took me 4 hours to write this post.