The abandoned buildings of an old pirate settlement in Central America which
became known as British Honduras and today is known as Belize. This pirate settlement became the basis of a
town that was founded in 1638 as Belize Town and is now known as Belize City.
Belize City was based on the cutting and shipping of logwood, a valuable
commodity in Britain and in Europe where it was used as an effective fixing dye in the textile trade. The new
technique involving logwood was developed by the Spanish and was such a great improvement on previous methods
that logwood sold for a very high price.
With a population of more then 70,000 Belize City is, today, the largest city
in Belize and is also the financial and economic capital. However, Belize's largest city is no longer the
judicial capital which was moved to Belmopan after hurricane Hattie in 1961 almost completely destroyed the
There are three bridges that connects the north and south sides of Belize
City: the Bel-Canada, the Bel-China and the Swing Bridge. The Bel-Canada and Bel-China bridges get their names
from the countries that gave money for their construction. The Swing Bridge is the only manually operated
"Swinging Bridge" left in the world that still swings.
Belize City is the gateway to Belize's historical and cultural points. There
are four major highways in Belize: Southern, Humming Bird, Western and Northern. Two of these highways connect
with Belize City: the Western and the Northern. The only international airport in Belize is about 8.5 miles
north of Belize City. However, there are many grass, dirt and paved runways scattered about the country. There
is a new Carnival Cruise terminal on the south side of the city which will be capable of holding up to 4 cruise
ships when finished.
There are many historical buildings to see in Belize City such as the old
Anglican church, the oldest church of its kind in Central America, as well as the old Governors Mansion, which
is now a museum. The Belize Museum, also known as the National Institute of Culture and History, is a wonderful
place to learn about Belize's rich cultural history.
There are lots of restaurants around Belize City; Chinese, Indian and Creole
foods are the main delicacies. Food is one way that Belizeans express their culture best. However, If you are
on a diet don't go to the street side stands, every thing there is fried.
Belize City is a wonderful historical city that has lots to offer whether you
are a "newbie" traveler or a world class traveler. Belize is easy to navigate since all maps are in English and
the people are as hospitable as they come! ~Anthony Benjamin~