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Purely Dominica

Purely Dominica

Dominica’s nickname is the Nature Island and for very good reason. Among the many gorgeous Caribbean islands Dominica stands alone as one of the most remarkably pristine. It offers breathtaking panoramas and sparkling turquoise waters at every turn.

Dominica is a haven for serious divers and many people also enjoy snorkeling and whale watching here. It is also home to a boiling lake, 365 rivers and numerous national parks. In every respect Dominica is an ideal destination for nature lovers and those who want to explore unspoiled beauty.

But Dominica should also be celebrated for its beautiful architecture and historic buildings. Many buildings demonstrate the diverse cultures that have shaped the area. They may display a distinctly Caribbean feel, but many of the historical buildings also show the influence of the English, French and even Spanish. Many older structures that date from the Colonial Period still exist and help visitors to discover the rich history of this island culture. Several of these surviving buildings served a military or religious purpose. Others were utilized by the local government. Visitors to the area will also find breathtakingly beautiful plantation houses that demonstrate a prosperous and gracious style of living. Still other older buildings were once bustling mills that helped bolster the local economy and helped shape the island to become what it is today.

Photo:The Historic Noorwood House in Roseau, Dominica

One of the best places to explore the historic architecture of the island is in the city of Roseau. Most streets are lined with gorgeous examples of old architecture and to truly appreciate the many structures it is best to traverse the city on foot. Roseau boasts many old mercantile type buildings that helpfully illustrate the history of trade and commerce in the city and across the island. The Roseau Public Library is a gorgeous example of relatively early architecture. It was completed in 1906 with the help of American Andrew Carnegie. Today it is still a graceful and imposing example of the best architecture on Dominica.

Visitors should also make the time to visit a few examples of Ti Kaz. These are wood framed houses traditionally occupied by Carib natives. Many of these are seen at the Carib Reserve. Seeing such structures really gives visitors a feeling for the lifestyle of the island’s natives.

Photo:The Historic barracoon Building in Roseau, Dominica

Many of the buildings on Dominica feature stone masonry bases – excellent for protecting the building in the event of a hurricane. Many historical buildings also feature sturdy timber boarding. One of the most distinctive and beautiful components of most Dominica buildings are the hurricane and jalousie shutters. Many of the most memorable buildings also favor steeply pitched roofs with gables that resist the wind. The really eye catching feature of most buildings that visitors love are the long, sleek verandas. Not only are these architectural features beautiful, but they are also the perfect place to sit and catch the scented evening breeze.

Photo of Dominica's Architectural houses in Roseau

Dormer windows are highly popular in Dominica as they allow additional light and enhanced air flow. This keeps the rooms cooler and very comfortable. Nearly all of the structures on Dominica are built with the island’s terrain and climate in mind. This enhances their longevity and also their livability. However, the people who have built on the island have also kept aesthetics in the forefront of their plans. This accounts for the many beautiful buildings in Roseau, Portsmouth and across the remainder of the island.

Any visit to Dominica would have to include an exploration of the island’s natural beauty, but should include discovering the island’s many historical buildings as well. Discovering how people have lived and worked on Dominica through the years highlights the history and culture of the many people who have called Dominica home. It is a singularly beautiful island, ideal for explorers and romantics. With gorgeous colonial architecture framed by spectacular tropical rainforests this is one unforgettable destination for visitors from every corner of the globe.

Kathleen Hubert is a blogger who writes on a variety of different sites. Check out more of her work at led tv.

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