Note the fine examples of Bahamian colonial architecture as well as interesting historical monuments at this striking square.
Parliament Square is a recognizable site in the Bahamas. The square is bordered by distinctive pink-and-white buildings, housing the key branches of Bahamian government. Admire the buildings’ Georgian neoclassical architecture and experience a cultural side of this beautiful island.
The colonnaded pastel buildings lining the square were built between the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Constructed by Loyalists who came to the Bahamas from North Carolina, their architecture is inspired by buildings of New Bern, the state’s former capital.
On one side of the square, see the House of Assembly, where the Prime Minister and two parliamentary houses meet. If the House is sitting, enter the gallery and watch lawmakers debate. The House is said to be the New World’s oldest governing body in continuous session.
Behind the House of Assembly is the Supreme Court of the Bahamas building, built in 1921. Look for local judges or lawyers, who follow tradition, dressing in traditional British wigs and robes. The area around the court comes to life in the first weeks of January, April, July and October, when the opening of the court’s quarterly sessions is celebrated.
The Senate Building is in the center of the square, facing toward Bay Street. Look for an early 20th-century statue of Queen Victoria in front of this building. This marble statue was erected in honor of the queen’s birthday in 1905.
Just behind the Supreme Court building, find the pretty Garden of Remembrance. Look for a cenotaph in the middle of this flower-filled garden, which honors the Bahamian soldiers who lost their lives during the two world wars as well as four Bahamian Marines killed when a Cuban MIG fighter sunk the HMBS Flamingo patrol vessel in 1980. Note the plaque at the base of the monument, which is engraved with the names of the fallen soldiers. This garden is the center of many events on Remembrance Day, including a march from Christ Church Cathedral to the cenotaph.
Find Parliament Square south of Rawson Square on Bay Street. Reach the square on foot from most areas of the city.