St. John's

With a population of about 22,000, St. John's is the capital and largest city of Antigua and Barbuda. St. John's is the commercial center of the nation and the location of the Cruise Terminal at Heritage Quay.

Museum of Antigua and Barbuda
The Museum, located in downtown St. John’s, provides an interesting background of the nation’s history from 10,000 years ago. Learn how the islands were formed and who lived here. Discover all about the effect the Arawaks and Caribs had on the island. Lively displays include ancient tools and artifacts, shells, various flora and fauna and the island’s naval and slavery history. The gift shop includes marvelous colour prints and etchings of 18th and 19th century Antigua, locally handmade pottery, handicrafts and books.

Heritage Quay
Overlooking St. John’s Harbour, this duty free shopping area offers virtually everything you desire from fine cigars and spirits to fragrances. Also available are artworks, leather goods, china, crystal and designer labels including watches and elegant jewellery.

Public Market
The market in St. John’s provides an extensive and attractive covered outlet for the abundance of Caribbean fruit and vegetables. Upstairs are delightful small boutique-style shops. The market is easily identified by the imposing sculpture of V.C. Bird, the Founder of the Nation, at the intersection of all roads leading to the market at the edge of St. John’s.

Arts & Craft Market
This is next to the fruit and vegetable market, near to the West Bus Terminal. This is a delightful and colourful gathering of local artists actively working in their small shops producing 100 percent Antiguan products. Some items are actually being made on the spot for you to see – natural vegetable based soaps; artwork done with fish scales and sea shells. Leather craft such as shoes, belts and bags; local hair accessories, old-time straw hats as well as items made of canvas and other natural fabrics. You can even have a local dress made for you while you wait! Open all week.

St. John’s Cathedral Divine
Two St. John’s Anglican Churches have already stood on the site of the present cathedral. The first was built of wood as early as 1681, The second was constructed with English brick about 1720 when the first fell in disrepair and became too small.

After over a century, the church was elevated to the status of a cathedral when the Diocese of Antigua was created in August 1842.

On October 9, 1843 and on October 10 1847, the Cathedral was opened for divine service. It was consecrated on July 25, 1848.

The Cathedral is dominated by twin towers at the west end and provides a distinct baroque flavour. They are 70 ft high and the cupolas that crown the towers are aluminum in colour. At the time of erection, the edifice was criticised by ecclesiastical architects as being like “a pagan temple with two dumpy pepper pot towers”, however in modern times the edifice has been cited as “the most imposing of all the Cathedrals of the West Indian Province”.

Originally the south gate was the main entrance to the Cathedral. On top of its pillars are the lead figures of St. John the Divine and St. John the Baptist. H.M.S. Temple is said to have taken these figures from a French ship destined for Martinique in 1756 during the Seven Years War. The iron gates themselves date from 1789.

The Cathedral has been closed to the public due to restoration works. Restoration of the St. John Cathedral is now ongoing. Please see link to the page for more detailed information, and how you can contribute.

Also check out:

  • Bust of Sir V.C. Bird, Sr.
  • Government House
  • Antigua Recreation (Cricket) Grounds
  • Redcliff Quay
  • Prince Klass Monument
  • The Cenotaph (War Memorial)
  • The Westerby Memorial

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