Saturday, August 30, 2014

#652 Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda

The most visited tourist site in Bermuda, mainly because it is the entry point for most tourists to Bermuda (i.e. the docks for cruise ships) are the Royal Navy Dockyards. Savvy enough to embrace these visitors, the dockyards maintains a Facebook page, a webcam, a youtube video (see below), as well as several websites introducing tourists to the shops, artists workshops, activities, restaurants and other options.

Ruins of barracks
The fort (HMD Bermuda) was controlled by Britain until 1995 (although they had limited operations from 1951 when the area was known as HMS Malabar), and constituted its main Atlantic base from the time of American Independence through to the Cold War. Slaves and convicts constructed the large complex, and around 2000 died in the process. It was used as a base for ships attacking Washington, DC during the War of 1812, and was a crucial base during the World Wars

The Keep, at the far end of the area, is now the National Museum of Bermuda, and the big building on top of the hill, the restored Commissioner's House, dominates the area.

The dockyards are no longer used by the Royal Navy, but they continue to be used in boat construction and repair, while the rest of the area is dedicated to tourism. 

The Queen's Exhibition Hall used to be the storage area for gunpowder and weaponry, and the heavy crates have left clear lines on the floors!
Dolphin Quest is an area you can swim with dolphins (for upwards of $500 or so).
I am not happy about these dolphins being held captive here.
Casemates Barracks with the fortified wall behind, which separates the dockyards area from the rest of Bermuda.
6 foot guns are rusting away along the parapets. 
Graham Foster's very impressive Hall of History Mural which includes all small images showing all of Burmuda's centuries old history is inside the Commissioner's House.
I wondered why the Commissioner's House wasn't more of an obvious target. It rises high above the rest of the Fort area and the views, while spectacular, can only mean that they must have been attacked and aimed for! 

View from the Commissioner's House looking back towards the dockyards, the (empty) cruise wharves (Heritage Wharf and King's Wharf). The barracks at the far end were connected to the keep by a high wall. In front is the Queen's Exhibition Building (armory).
Clocktower Mall - the old storehouse.
Check out Bermuda Tourism's youtube video of Dockyard:

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