Kingston City
The Capital of Jamaica

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Kingston, the capital of Jamaica (& the largest city in Jamaica), was founded on July 22 in the year 1692.

Then, it was a refuge for survivors of the massive 1692 earthquake that destroyed Port Royal. Before the earthquake, Kingston was purely agricultural.

The largest city and the principal port here in Jamaica, it lies on the south east coast of the island. Based on the 2002 population estimate, there were approximately 583,900 persons living here.

It became the capital in 1872 and remained capital at independence in 1962. Prior to that, Spanish Town in St. Catherine was the capital. [see 101 facts about Jamaica]

Not only is Kingston the cultural center of the island, it is also considered the business and commercial hub of the island. It host all the Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates, some of the major hospitals as well as some of the largest media and communication organizations.

Of course, you'll certainly find all the international fast food chains here as well.

Industries in Kingston include tourism, petroleum products, textiles, and clothing, while major exports are agricultural items such as bananas, sugar, coffee, molasses and rum.

Kingston 2007, Capital of Jamaica Kingston in 1907, Capital of Jamaica
View of uptown Kingston in 2007 View of Kingston just after the 1907 earthquake.

[Selected pictures from Wikipedia]

Of course, been the capital of Jamaica, Kingston has some of the most significant landmarks and attractions in Jamaica. These include:

At the time of this writing, Kingston had five sister cities:

  1. Miami in the USA
  2. Kalamazoo in the USA
  3. Coventry in the UK
  4. Guadalajara in Mexico &
  5. Shenzhen in the People's Republic of China.

The local government bodies of the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew were joined by the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation Act of 1923, to form the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC).

Greater Kingston, or the "Corporate Area" refers to the KSAC; however, it does not solely refer to Kingston Parish, which only consists of the old downtown and Port Royal.

The issue of crime however is still a sore issue in Kingston. The capital city continue to record the highest murder rates in the island. It is worth noting however that 80% of the murders in Kingston are in the depressed garrison areas of downtown Kingston.

The capital city is served by Norman Manley International Airport and also by the smaller (and primarily domestic) Tinson Pen Aerodrome.

Related Reading: Climate in Kingston Jamaica

For even more on Kingston, our capital city, click here

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