Kingston is the capital of Jamaica.
The south-eastern shoreline of Jamaica curves inwards and creates a sheltered nook for the capital city of Kingston. The largest city and chief seaport of Jamaica, Kingston extends along the coast of the Caribbean Sea at the base of the Blue Mountains. Its harbour is protected to the south by the Palisadoes, a long spit, and is large enough to accommodate all the cruise ships beckoned by Jamaica’s reputation for fun and fair weather.
Kingston has boomed as a port of call for Caribbean tourist and trading vessels, and the city was thoroughly modernised in the 1980s when old wharves were torn down and replaced with hotels, shops, and other amenities. However, Kingston’s economy is not solely dependent upon tourism. The city exports large quantities of sugar, coffee, rum, and molasses. In addition, manufacturers in the city produce textiles, petroleum products, and clothing.
Founded in 1692 after the old capital of Port Royal was destroyed by an earthquake, Kingston succeeded Spanish Town as the island’s capital in 1872. The partly submerged ruins of old Port Royal are still visible near the city at the entrance to the harbour. Other places of interest include the 17th-century moated fortress Rockfort, and the 18th-century seat of government, the Headquarters House. The University of the West Indies is also located in Kingston.
The New Kingston area of the city is the principal business area, which combines modern town planning with the backdrop of the nearby Blue Mountains. For enthusiasts of reggae music, the Bob Marley Museum is worth a visit.