The Queen’s Staircase: A Bahamas landmark

Tucked in between towering 100-foot limestone walls below Fort Fincastle in Nassau, Bahamas is a flight of steep stairs is a landmark in the Bahamas–the Queen’s Staircase.

Brief history

The British colonized the Bahamas and it became a target for others to wanted to control the island, hence three forts were constructed to protect the island from marauders. The three forts–Fort Fincastle, Fort Montagu, and Fort Charlotte remain standing today and are among the top tourist attractions of Nassau.

Because Fort Fincastle is located at the highest point on Bennet Hill, Nassau’s highest point, they needed a direct access or secret passage to reach the fort in case of an attack.

Thus, the construction of the Queen’s staircase began sometime in 1793 to 1794.

Also referred to as “The 66 Steps,” the Queen’s Staircase was hand-built by over 600 slaves who used pick axes and hand tools to carve the 102-foot stairs out of solid limestone rocks. It took them 16 years to finish the staircase.

Later, the staircase was named in honor of Queen Victoria who reigned for 65 years. In 1837, Queen Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom and Ireland who signed a declaration abolishing slavery.

The Queen’s staircase is now being used as a passageway to Fort Fincastle as well as a shortcut to Bennet’s Hill but be careful because the stairs are slippery and steep.

Fort Fincastle at Bennet Hill overlooks the Nassau Harbor.

I did not count how many steps are actually there because I didn’t have the energy to go up the steep stairs and go back down. I was just happy to take photos from the bottom of the stairs.

If you want to see the Queen’s Staircase from the top, parking from the Bennet Hill could be challenging because the space is limited. We tried it and failed to find a parking place. Your best chance is to start from below the stairs. If you’re driving, go all the way to the top of Elizabeth Drive close to Princess Margaret Hospital and the entrance to the Queen’s Staircase is close to it.

The roadsides were full but we found a private parking slot which we paid $3.

There are even local guides who will tell you about the history of the place for a fee.

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