Ancient Belize City

Belize City is located on the east coast of the Belize, facing the Caribbean Sea. Belize City was developed on the mouth of the Belize River on the site of a Mayan fishing Village. British loggers called Baymen, first settled in the area and originally called it Belize Town. Belize City was chosen as the capital for its convenient location, whereby the town has access to the sea and the river tributaries. Founded in the mid Seventh century Belize City facilitated trading in the British colony primarily to facilitate the easy shipping of lumber.

From the seventh century up to 1961 Belize City remained the capital of Belize. As the main capital is located on the Caribbean Sea, Belize City was prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes. In 1961, Hurricane Hattie completely destroyed Belize City and soon after plans were quickly put in place to develop a new city in Belmopan (further inland) which to date is the capital of Belize. However, Belize City still remains the largest town in Belize in which a thriving population of over 70,000 people resides. Aside of once being the commercial hub of the country, Belize City historically is of much value and this contributes to the influx of tourist who visits annually; just to see the many attractions found in and around Belize City.

Belize City is not the capital of Belize anymore, but it still remains a very busy and important city. The country’s main sea port is in Belize and during the tourist seasons, cruise liners make frequent scheduled stops in Belize City.

Once in Belize City there are many manmade and natural attractions to fill the adventurer’s diary. To begin, The Baron Bliss Lighthouse Monument located at Fort George. This lighthouse monument was built to commemorate the life of Barb Bliss of Portugal who upon his death willed a substantial amount of money in the form of a trust to Belize which he grew very fond of during his time there. The monument in Belize City includes a tomb, designed by the baron himself. In commemoration of this goodwill, March 9th is a national holiday which marks and celebrates the life of the Baron. The main event of this day is a yacht regatta as the Baron had a special love for the sea.

The Belize City Museum which is located in the northern region of Belize City was once a prison originally constructed in 1857. The museum showcases Belizean history beginning with Mayan culture up through modern times. Mayan displays are a major highlight of the museum with displays including a collection of insects of Belize, stamp collections, photos and a restored prison cell. The museum is opened to the public from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Belize is a country with a rich cultural heritage and around Belize City there are many historic sites which add to the city’s uniqueness. Standing tall in the town is the first Anglican Church to be built during European colonization. St John’s Cathedral as it is called is situated on Albert’s Street. Built in 1800 the Cathedral is the oldest Anglican Church in Central America. Other building of historic significance in Belize City is the Government House which was once the residence of the governor Belize. The Governor’s House is now a museum which displays life in Belize during colonization by the British.

Like any other town Belize City has a bustling commercial centre. From street corners one can observe Belizeans going about. The main commercial area of Belize City is Albert Street to the south. The area includes banks, office buildings where offshore agents provide Belize company registration services, stores and souvenir shops and music shops among others. Adding Caribbean flavor to the street are the many vendors on the sidewalks selling fruits and local delicacies.

A recent addition to Belize City is the recreational facility known as Cucumber Beach. A man made beach and marina, Cucumber Beach provides fun for all ages. Activities on Cucumber Beach include diving, windsurfing, fishing, glass bottom boat tours and snorkeling. The beach can also be used for functions such as weddings and parties.

Belize City has a lot to offer to any visitor or local and is full of life offering activities for both day and night time. Belize City can be described as a place where the pasts and modern intermingles and work harmoniously.