The Red House
This building with its distinctive red colour is situated in High Street, Kingston between Young and Barrack Streets. It is built of timber (pitch-pine) and is covered with red wallaba shingles. It is not certain whether the verandah and the ground floor were part of the original building.
The Red House was acquired in 1925 by the Colony of British Guiana. Sir Eustace Woolford, a Speaker of the Legislature, was one of the early owners of the house. Between 1925 to 1953, numerous Colonial Secretaries resided there.
Dr. Cheddi Jagan also lived there from 1961 to 1964 while he served as Premier of British Guiana. Subsequently from 1965 to the early 1990's the Red House was used as government offices e.g. the Public Service Ministry. The house was left vacant until 1999 when the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre was established in the building.
The Damon Monument
This impressive bronze sculpture, designed by Mr. Ivor Thom, a lieutenant of the Guyana National Service, was erected in honour of Damon, an enslaved domestic labourer who was executed for his role in the protest against the system of apprenticeship.
This simple concrete cross is believed to mark the spot where Damon, an enslaved African was buried after being executed for his role in the 1823 Demerara uprising.
A Cenotaph is a funerary monument raised to the memory of the deceased. Unlike a mausoleum it never holds the ashes or remains of the dead. Located opposite the Bank of Guyana at the southern end of Main Street, Georgetown, our Cenotaph is a memorial to all Guyanese soldiers who died in service during the two World Wars 1914 - 1918 and 1939 - 1945.
On August 14, 1923, the ninth anniversary of the declaration of war with Germany, British Colonial Governor, Graeme Thompson, unveiled this war memorial, which was funded through government subscription.
At the unveiling ceremony the hope was expressed that the Cenotaph would be the most honoured of all the memorials in the city, one which will be regarded by posterity with reverence and respect and which will keep green the memories of the valuable lives this colony sacrificed for a just and righteous cause.
Built of marble the Cenotaph stands 4.5m high. Inscribed on the four faces of the monument are the words: Devotion, Humanity, Fortitude and Sacrifice. State officials and other dignitaries honour our fallen heroes by holding annual memorial ceremonies with the laying of wreaths.
The Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens is one of Georgetown's popular recreation parks. In 1877, Government voted $72,000 to establish the Gardens, and John Frederick Waby, the first gardener, arrived in Georgetown in December 1878. He spent 35 years in Guyana landscaping one of the finest tropical gardens in our region.
The Zoological Park
This park exhibits a variety of the flora and fauna of Guyana. The first attempt to establish a Zoo dates back to 1880, but the members of the Royal Agricultural Society were opposed to the idea. However in 1952, the Zoological Park was declared open.
The Seven Ponds
Bandstand- Promenade Gardens
This bandstand which is strategically located in the centre of the spacious grounds of the Promenade Gardens was erected in 1897 by the Corporation of Georgetown in commemoration of Her Majesty Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
This conical palm thatched structure erected for the Non-Aligned Foreign Ministers Conference in August 1972 as a V.I.P. Lounge and recreation center, is now a permanent and much admired part of Georgetown's scenery. The structure is 55 feet high and was erected by a team of Wai Wai Amerindians, one of the nine indigenous tribes of Guyana. Fashioned like the Wai Wai benabs or shelters which are found deep in Guyana's interior, it occupies an area of 460 square meters. Umana Yana is an Amerindian word meaning "Meeting place of the people".
This was erected at Cartabo Point in the Esssequibo River and appears to be the earliest Dutch fort. Various historians give different dates of construction. Hartsinck claims that work on the fort commenced in 1613 and finished about 1623 while Major John Scott has stated it was started in 1616.
It is believed that the building was finally completed between 1623 and 1627. The ruins of the fort revealed that it was not very large. The ground floor was used as a storehouse and a magazine for food imports, goods received from the Indians and ammunition.
There were three rooms on the top floor one for the soldiers, one for the Commandeur, and one for the Secretary. All that remains of this fort is an arch. There were provision grounds around the fort and benabs for the conduct of trade with the indigenous Indians who brought cotton, tobacco, annatto, balsam copaibo, etc. to satisfy the demands of the Dutch.
It is claimed that the fort was originally named Fort ter Hoogen after an Influential Dutch gentleman but its name was later changed to Kyk-over-al," as a result of its strategic location that allowed for the view over the Essequibo River and its tributaries.
Fort Zeelandia And The Court Of Policy
Approximately 16 km from the mouth of the mighty Essequibo River is Fort Island. On this island are two structures:
The Court of Policy or Dutch Church.
During the period of Dutch occupation the Fort and the Court of Policy were part of a large urban settlement that extended along the northeastern section of the island. This was the seat of the Dutch administration in the colony of Essequibo.
Fort Zeelandia was constructed in 1744. It was constructed to protect the interests of the Dutch West India Company from European rivals such as the English and French who frequented the eastern coast of South America in search of the spoils of war. In addition it was meant to serve as a stronghold against internal forces such as rebellious slaves.
Ramparts Of Fort Zeelandia
This brick fort which replaced a wooden structure was constructed in accordance to a design by the then secretary of the colony of Essequibo Laurens Storm Vans Gravesande (the colonys longest serving Dutch Commandeur 1738 1776) to conserve funds. It is said that the design followed a pattern lozenge-shaped forts which were common in West Africa during that period'. Within the compound of the Fort are the Armory used for the storage of ammunition and several canons reminiscent of the belligerent history of the site.
The Court Of Policy
The Court of Policy served multiple functions. It was a store and at the same time a church, court, seat of government and a sales office. Inside the Court of Policy are the tombs of three Dutch Officials. It is the oldest non military structure in Guyana. To this day church services are held there.
St George's Cathedral
Designed by Sir Arthur Bloomfield and built in the 1890s, the St. George's Cathedral is reputed to be one of the world's tallest wooden buildings. Its spire rises over 132 feet. The Chief Church of the Anglican Diocese is found in the heart of George- town. The story of the Cathedral is told in the interior on tablets and memorials. It is a tale of Guyana in general and the diocese in particular.
At the corner of Vlissengen Road and Homestretch Avenue is the Castellani House, formally named in 1993 after its architect, Cesar Castellani. The original building was constructed during 1879 to 1882 and was the residence of the Government Botanist George Jenman beginning in 1883. Forbes Burnham resided there from 1965 until his death in 1985, during his tenure as Prime Minister and later, President of Guyana. The Castellani House is the home of the National Art Collection.
The Lighthouse, a brick and concrete structure about 31-metres tall, was built by the British in 1830 near the mouth of the Demerara River. It is the country's only lighthouse and guides ships into Port Georgetown with its revolving light.
The Indian Immigration Monument
The Indian Immigration Monument is located in a garden delimited by Camp, North, Alexander and Church Streets. The monument, a bronze replica of the vessel Whitby resting on a rectangular base, was unveiled on May 6, 1997 in commemoration of the arrival of the first East Indians in British Guiana. The vessel was one of two which brought the immigrants to the country on May 5, 1838.
This fort was constructed on the eastern bank of the Berbice River circa 1627 by Abraham Van Pere [a Dutch merchant] and his colonists. This was the seat of Government in Berbice which was governed as a separate colony prior to the unification of the three colonies Essequibo, Demerara and Berbice in 1831.
This fort was constructed of wood and enclosed with palisades. The fort had an 'irregular rectangular redoubt wherein was a larger stone building. The barracks were built to house about 60 soldiers. The main building in the fort had two floors. The Governor, Captain of the Troops, the Secretary and two Lieutenants lived on the upper floor. There was a Council Chamber and Church Hall on the first floor. The Fort was surrounded by outhouses for servants and petty officials.
In 1712 it was demolished when Baron de Mouans corsairs threw bombs into it and held Berbice at ransom. A new fort was constructed. During the slave revolt of 1763 it was burnt by Governor Van Hoogenheim and his soldiers to prevent the slave rebels from acquiring it.
On the grounds of the Umana Yana rises a memorial of five timber columns standing behind a granite boulder and surrounded by a jasper pavement. The memorial was consecrated to the Struggle for Freedom everywhere, on the occasion of the visit of the Council of Namibia to Guyana in August l974. The following words are engraved on the granite boulder: "Mourn not for us who died But for our brothers everywhere Who live in bondage And mourning, turn away to act."
The Kaieteur Falls, which was discovered on April 29, 1870 by Charles Barrington Brown, the famous hinterland explorer, is situated on the Potaro River, a tributary of the Essequibo River. The waters of Kaieteur, one of the natural wonders of the world, flow over a sandstone table and land into a deep valley - a drop of 741 feet or five times the height of Niagara. Kaieteur takes the form of a huge perpendicular column of water which cascades into a rainbowed gorge only to be transformed into a mountain of foam with a "billion eyes that hypnotize". There are no other falls in the world with the magnitude of the sheer drop existing at Kaieteur. The width of the Fall varies from 250 feet in the dry season to 400 feet at the height of the wet season. Amerindian legend of the Patamona tribe has it that Kaie, one of the tribe's great old Chieftains, after whom Kaieteur is named, committed self-sacrifice by canoeing himself over the falls in order that Makonaima, the great spirit, would save the tribe from being destroyed by the savage Caribisi.
The most famous stretch of seawall in Guyana is the Georgetown Seawall. Seawall is the name given to the wall of concrete built along the foreshore with the sea in Guyana, mostly in Demerara. It is part of the battle against the Atlantic Ocean. Earth walls are called sea-dams. Seawalls were found necessary because of constant erosion of land by the sea. Historians note that two estates, Kierfield and Sandy Point, known to be existing in 1792 north of the present Georgetown Seawall, were completely washed away by 1804.
The foreshore is subject to cycles of erosion and accretion. (Tables of erosion and accretion, started by G.O. Case have been maintained by the government). It appears that accretion in the early 1840s was followed by erosion in the late 1840s. By 1855, the great Kingston Flood took place when the sea-dam was breached. It was after this catastrophe that the sea wall between Fort William Frederick and the Round House was started in 1858. Built principally by convict labor with granite from the Penal Settlement at Mazaruni (now Mazaruni Prison), it was completed in 1892.
Serious flooding resulting from breaches in the sea wall took place at Enmore in 1955, at Buxton in 1959, and at Bladen Hall in 1961. The Georgetown Seawall is a favourite place for afternoon walks, for listening to music (at the bandstand), for races on the beach, for spontaneous cricket matches, for lovers trysts and other activities. In 1903 the Georgetown Seawall Bandstand was built with funds subscribed by the public as a memorial to Queen Victoria. The shelter north of the bandstand, called the Koh-i-noor Shelter, was erected in 1903.
The Hubert Critchlow Monument
The Hubert Critchlow Monument on the lawns of the compound of Parliament Building was unveiled on December 2, 1964 by the then Premier, Cheddi Jagan. It is a tribute to Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow, the father of the Trade Union movement in Guyana. The bronze sculpture of the late trade unionist by Edward Burrowes is mounted on a two-metre high pedestal.
This house with its 100 windows was built during the 1820s on land belonging to the Anglican Church in British Guiana. Several governors including, Governor Lyght and Governor Barclay, resided there. A rent of 240.00 pounds each month was paid by the governors who resided there.
In 1852 and 1863 ordinance legislating the purchase of the building to establish a home for the British governors were passed. The original building had two storeys and a double stairway and faced Carmichael Street.
Over time many changes were made to the building. Adjacent lots numbers 57 to 60 on Main Street and 93 to 95 on Carmichael Street.
By 1894,the present building main entrance was in Main Street. Known as 'the Grande Dame of Main Street' this elegant wooden building exhibits fine wooden architecture. Many of the ornate designs of the interior of the building are credited to Caesar Castellani, one of the most prolific architects of the colonial era. Restored to its former glory this house is now the official residence of the President of Guyana.
Queen Victoria Monument
This imposing marble sculpture of Her Majesty Queen Victoria was unveiled and mounted in the compound of the High Court (formerly the Victoria Law Courts) on September 4, 1894 by the Governor of British Guiana Sir Charles Cameron Lees. This monument was sculpted by H. R. Hope Porter of London.
The National Cultural Centre
At the corners of Mandela and Homestretch Avenues is the National Cultural Centre where theatre productions and concerts are held. It was opened in 1976. Poetry readings and plays were also staged by the Guyana Theatre Guild at the Kingston Playhouse.
The Providence Stadium is a sports stadium in Guyana, replacing Bourda as the national stadium. Completed in March of 2007, it is by far the largest stadium in Guyana. It was built specifically to host Super Eight matches in the 2007 Cricket World Cup, held in March / April 2007. The stadium hosted six World Cup matches between 28 March 2007 and 9 April 2007, most notably the match between Sri Lanka and South Africa in which Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga became the first bowler in international cricket history to take four wickets in four consecutive balls. Built primarily for cricket matches, the stadium can be converted into a multi-use facility.
The stadium was built by the Government of Guyana with substantial financial assistance from the Government of India. It was designed by C.R. Narayana Rao (CRN Architects & Engineers), supervised by Walter Willis (famous Guyanese civil engineer) and constructed by Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Limited. Flooding in 2005 slowed site preparation, and delayed the start of construction, which began in May 2005. Construction costs are estimated at $25,000,000 US.
Cheddi Jagan International Airport Timehri
Timehri International Airport is on the right bank of the Demerara River, 26 miles south of Georgetown, the capital. The word Timehri literally means "Rock Painting" and is the name given to the rock paintings or engravings found in the interior of Guyana, particularly near falls and rapids. Legend has it that the Timehri art was the work of the Amerindian folklore god "Amalivacar", who visited Guyana at the time of the flood. Anthropologists, however, consider that the paintings date back to the 14th century. A mural done in the Timehri Motif by famous Guyanese artist, the late Aubrey Williams, adorns the outer wall of the airport's V.I.P. Lounge.
Parliament Building, also known as Public Buildings, houses Guyana's Legislature or National Assembly and was designed by Joseph Hadfield. The foundation stone was laid in 1829 and the Building was completed in 1834. At this site, Guyana's slaves purchased for the first time, their own land. The street south of Parliament Building, Hadfield Street, was named after the Building's architect, Joseph Hadfield.
The National Independence Monument
The National Independence Monument, on Brickdam, near Vlissengen Road, is a gift to the people of Guyana from the Demerara Bauxite Company (DEMBA) commemorating Guyana's Independence from Great Britain on May 26, 1966. The structure, in the form of an arch, consists of three tubes made of aluminum from Guyana's bauxite mounted on a quartz base. The arch was designed by a Canadian engineer, Edric Klak.
St.Andrews Kirk is the oldest building in Georgetown, Guyana continually in use for religious purposes. The Dutch Reformed congregation laid its foundations in 1811. However, due to financial difficulties it was acquired by Scottish Presbyterians and was formally opened for service on 28 February 1818. It was the first church built by the Europeans in which slaves were allowed to worship. It is situated near the Parliament Building on the north eastern corner of Brickdam.
City Hall houses the administrative offices of the City of Georgetown. This building is a splendid example of Gothic architecture, designed by the Very Reverend Father Ignatius Scoles S.J. The foundation stone was laid on December 23, 1887 and the building was declared opened by Governor Gormanston on July 1, 1889. Adjacent to City Hall is the City Engineers Department.
University Of Guyana
The University of Guyana (UG) was launched on October 1, 1963 following assent being given to the University of Guyana Ordinance on April 18, 1963, by Governor, Sir Ralph Grey. When it opened its doors on October 2, 1963, UG functioned as an evening institution with only 164 students enrolled for classes in three Faculties Arts, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences. Classes were held between 17:30 h and 21:30 h at the Government Technical Institute and Queens College, where laboratory facilities could be shared.
The Booker Group of Companies provided 1450 acres of land for a campus at Turkeyen. The soil was turned by Prime Minister L.F.S. Burnham on May 24, 1966. Construction work commenced on January 2, 1968, and the first building was declared open on February 24, 1970. A major physical rehabilitation and expansion programme have since been completed, and several new buildings are now available, allowing for more classroom space among other things.
The New Building Society provided funding for the construction of a 40-room Student Halls of Residence. This building was opened on May 27, 1994 and houses students from the outlying areas of Guyana. A second Halls of Residence was constructed on campus by the Beharry Group of Companies to house 44 students while a third, the Dennis Irving Halls of Residence, was built by the University at Goedverwagting to accommodate an additional 46 students.
When it commenced operations, the annual tuition fee at the University was $100 but this was abolished in 1974. In the 1994-1995 academic year the University introduced a Cost Recovery Programme. Resident Guyanese students are now required to pay G$127,000 per annum, except for those pursuing studies in Law, Medicine, Nursing and Tourism, where the fees are $300,000, $500,000, $251,000 and $158,000 respectively. The fees are higher for non-resident Guyanese and foreign students.
In 1975, participation in National Service was made a requirement for persons wishing to pursue studies at the University. However, in 1994, approval was given by the Cabinet for the abolition of mandatory National Service for students at tertiary level education institutions.
In the 1993-1994 academic year the Semester System was introduced in the Faculties of Education and Social Sciences. This system was introduced in the remaining Faculties in 1994-1995.
The University's current enrolment at Turkeyen is approximately 5,000 students in the Faculties of Agriculture, Arts, Education, Health Sciences, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Technology, pursuing more than 60 full time undergraduate programmes in Accountancy, Architecture, Agriculture, Education, Engineering, Communications, Environmental Science, Forestry, Law, Medicine, Modern Language, Chemistry, Pharmacy and Social Work, to name a few. There are also post-graduate programmes in the Faculties of Arts, Education, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences. To date, approximately 10,000 students have graduated and gone on to successful careers.
For the 2002-2003 academic year the following programmes have been added: Degree in Nursing and Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering.
In November 2000, the University's second Campus at Tain, Berbice, was opened, offering 2-year undergraduate Certificate programmes in Education, Diploma programmes in Accountancy, Marketing, Public Management, Social Work, English and History, and the Post-graduate Diploma in Education.
For the 2001-2002 academic year the following programmes were added: Degree in Agriculture, Associate Degree in General Science, with options in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics, and a Diploma in Computer Science. The current student population is 350.
Children's Millennium Monument
The Children's Millennium Monument was unveiled by former President Janet Jagan on March 15, 2000. It consists of a hemisphere at the base, an upside-down 'L' and the rising sun at the top of the structure. The vertical portion of the upside-down 'L' signifies the strength and growth of children, the shorter horizontal portion of the 'L' reflects the unlimited potential of children and the rising sun signifies the development of children.
An inscription on the hemisphere at the base reads as follows, "Every child has the right to, A Name and Nationality, A Family, Healthcare, Education, Play ..." There are six benches around the monument representing the six races of Guyana. The monument was designed by the artist Michael Khan.
This monument was unveiled by former President Burnham on 23 May 1976. It commemorates the 1763 slave rebellion; the first revolt that came close to success. Cuffy as the leader of this insurrection has been declared to be one of our national heroes. His legacy has been immortalized in bronze. Philip Moore was the sculptor of this impressive work of art. The monument is 10.1 meters (33 feet) high and is built on a concrete plinth designed by Albert Rodrigues. It symbolizes the struggle of the Guyanese people for their liberation and is situated at the eastern end of Brickdam.