Kongens Gade, Charlotte Amalie, United States Virgin Islands
99 Steps Charlotte Amalie Reviews
The 99 Steps Jun 22, 2008
The 99 Steps is a walkway leading up Government Hill in Charlotte Amalie. Charlotte Amalie lies at the base of the steep hills that dominate the topography of St. Thomas. As the town grew aways from the waterside, it could only expand upward along the hills. A series of walkways constructed of wood, stone, or brick once ran up and down the hillsides. Such stairs were more practical and less expensive than building switchback streets to reach up into the hills (and streets were not needed before modern vehicles came on the scene).
The most famous of the uphill walkways is the 99 Steps. The 99 steps were built in the 18th Century using bricks sent from Denmark as ships' ballast. (Some assert that there are really 103 or 106 steps, but I didn't count them!) The steps seem like they were built to last and I wonder if they were not actually constructed as a means to connect Fort Christian with the Skytsborg watchtower.
The steps are well maintained today and used as a means for locals to walk up and down Government Hill as well as by visitors seeking panoramic views over St. Thomas harbor. I recommend taking a walk along the steps. The steps begin on Kongens Gade, next to Hotel 1829 and end near the Three Queens of the Virgin Islands monument, with many views, sights, and restored homes to see along the way. Further up the hill is Blackbeard's Castle (once Skytsborg).
Part of the Eastern Caribbean Cruise 2008 travel blog
Part of the list Things to see in St. Thomas, USVI
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