Nassau, The Bahamas

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The capital of The Bahamas is on the northeast coast of New Providence Island. Only 39 km by 11, two thirds of Bahamians live on the island, mostly in Nassau. As a natural harbour, it has always played a key role in the islands’ economy. It was renowned as a buccaneering town for a long period but today it is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.


The islands of The Bahamas were originally inhabited by Lucayans, but disease and murder resulting from colonization wiped out the indigenous population. Nassau was first colonized in 1659 by a mix of Puritans, free blacks and slaves who had come from North America. It was originally called Charles Town and came into British possession in 1670. It was renamed Nassau in 1695 in honour of King William III of the house of Orange-Nassau. Nassau held a great attraction for pirates who took advantage of its location to lure ships into its shallow waters. The British, then at war with the Spanish, encouraged...

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