Barbados is the most easterly of the islands in the Caribbean.
The highest point on the island of Barbados is Mount Hillaby (336 m).
Barbados is composed of limestone, known as "coral rock".
The coral rock of Barbados contains underground supplies of water, suitable for drinking water.
Barbados was named by the Portuguese explorer Pedro a Campos.
The name "Los Barbados" means the "the bearded ones" and refers to trees on the island that had many aerial roots which resembled beards.
The Spanish arrived in Barbados at the end of the fifteenth century.
Captain John Powell, a British navigator, visited Barbados in 1625 and claimed the island in the name of King James I.
Nicholas Abbey on Cherry Tree Hill was built in 1650 and is thought to be the oldest Plantation House in Barbados.
Codrington College, built in 1743, is one of the oldest educational establishments in the Caribbean.
Barbados became an independent country in 1966.
Barbados has retained its links with the United Kingdom through membership of the Commonwealth.
Barbados is the third oldest parliamentary democracy in the world.
Errol Barrow was the first prime minister after independence. Errol Barrow Day is celebrated annually on 21 January.
Vvisitors highlight the friendliness of Barbadians as its greatest and most pleasing asset. This is reflected in the highest repeat visitor factor in the region of 40%The people of Barbados have a history of long ingrained Christian principles, a sound and free educational system with a literacy rate of 99%The furry little creatures that run out in front of your hire car as you travel the country roads of Barbados are mongooses.
Originally they were brought to the island from India to control the rat population in the cane fields.
Being nocturnal, the rats never came into contact with the mongooses – instead they demolished the snake population who actually did eat the rats.
Has never been successfully invaded by a Foreign power.
When first settled in 1625, was found to be almost totally covered in dense jungle, with a very large population of wild pigs.
The Capital city, Bridgetown was originally named "Indian Bridge" for the rude bridge which had been constructed over the river (now known as the Careenage) by the Indians. It was later called the "town of St. Michael" in official documents, before finally being named Bridgetown when a new bridge was built in place of the Indian Bridge, sometime after 1654.
Most of what is now the Southern part of Bridgetown (the lower Bay Street environs) was once a huge swamp.
During the period 1841 - 1845, Barbados was considered the healthiest place in the world to live, having 1 death per 66 people, compared to world averages of approximately 1 death per 35 people.
South Carolina, in the USA, was originally settled by Barbadians, and it's first Governor was a Barbadian
Bill Clinton is not the first American President to visit Barbados. President Reagan also visited here and George Washington stayed here for six weeks, visiting in 1751 to accompany his half-brother Lawrence who had made the six week voyage from the Potomac for health reasons. Nineteen at the time, it was Washington's only trip abroad. "Hired from Captain Crofton his house for fifteen pounds ($75.00) a month exclusive of liquors and washing which we are to provide", wrote Washington in his diary shortly after landing on the island, adding: "We stand a mile from town and the view is extensive by land and pleasant by sea as we command the view of Carlisle Bay and all the shipping and such manner that none can come or go without being open to our view".
The house still stands and can be found on the side of the historic Garrison Savannah which was formerly the parade ground for West Indies Regiments stationed here in the 17th and 18th centuries. Today it has been converted into offices but is easily identified by the ruin of the Coralstone sugar windmill in the parking lot.
Did Washington enjoy his visit to Barbados? His words say it all .... "In the cool of the evening we rode in the country and were perfectly enraptured with the beautiful scenery which every side presented our view. The fields of cane, corn, fruit trees in a delightful green.."
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