Since the European settlement of St. Kitts and Nevis, which began in 1623, colonial architecture has influenced the structural asthetics of the islands.

Military colonial architecture is well displayed at Fort Brimstone National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is an extraordinary colonial fortress in superb condition, built near the coast on a flat-topped small volcanic core.

Several churches and plantations reflect the colonial influence. Looking more like a fortress than a church is St. George's Anglican Church, built over the site of a Roman Catholic cathedral destroyed by English soldiers in 1706. It was subsequently destroyed and rebuilt at least three more times, by fire and earthquakes. The current structure was restored in 1869, damaged by hurricanes in 1989, and restored again. How's that for tenacity?

In 1856, the Church of the Immaculate Conception was built and is of typical Roman Catholic gothic design with its high bell towers and elongated, stained-glass windows.

The Springfield Cemetery and Chapel was founded in 1858 to confront the health dangers resulting from a cholera epidemic that killed as much as 1/6 of the population. The simple, unornamented structure plainly reflects the fact that it was built for the practical purpose (and at public expense) of providing a place for the services and burial of cholera victims by all denominations.  

The residential (plantation) architecture of St. Kitts is large and sprawling.  Large reflected the prosperity of the plantation owner and his standing in the community, as well as affording him the ability to accomodate large gatherings and visiting dignitaries. Unfortunately, the size of the plantations also reflected the fact that his wealth and status rested on the backs of countless slaves and Irish indentured servants.