Cities in America – Cities in Bahamas – Nassau City
Nassau, city, capital, and chief port of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, on the northeastern coast of New Providence Island. It is a world-famous tourist center, known for its fine beaches, colorful tropical vegetation, and the resort community of Paradise Island across the harbor. Among the landmarks of the city are the Parliament Building and Court House; Government House (1801), the official residence of the governor-general; and Christ Church Cathedral. Nearby attractions include marine gardens, at the eastern end of the harbor; Fort Charlotte (1787-1789); Fort Fincastle (1793); Ardastra Gardens, with many tropical and subtropical plants; and Jumbey Village, a reproduction of an 18th-century Bahamian community. The College of the Bahamas (1974) is here.
The site of the city, discovered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus, was settled in 1656 as Charles Towne (for Charles II of England). It was attacked and destroyed by Spain in 1694 for harboring pirates and was rebuilt in 1695 as Nassau (for the family name of William III of England). American revolutionists held it briefly in 1776, and during the American Civil War (1861-1865) it served as a supply base for Confederate blockade runners.