Restoration of a Historic District in Bridgetown

Bridgetown, the historic capital city of Barbados, is one of the earliest town sites and ports established in the Caribbean network of military and marine mercantile settlements, and was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on June 25, 2011 along with its Garrison.  

Several phases of work completed within the Synagogue Historic District spanned the period 1986 to 2017, and included several major restorative works: in 1986 the Nidhe Israel Synagogue (1654), in 1999-2003 the adjacent burial grounds (circa 1658), and in 2008 the adjacent building (circa 1700) redeveloped as the Nidhe Israel Museum which displays the story of the Jewish settlement of Barbados.  An archaeological dig conducted in 2008-2009 uncovered a mid-17th century Mikvah, or ritual bath, which was developed in association with the Synagogue around 1654.  This Mikvah was found beneath the existing car park between the Synagogue and Museum, and was restored and protected by the erection of a stone building over its footprint.

The final phase of the restoration program covered an entire city block opposite Central Police Station, and bounded by James Street, Coleridge Street, Magazine Lane and Synagogue Lane.  The program restored heritage buildings, created new structures and a commemorative monument, and added urban infrastructural elements.

The key objectives were to create a major heritage attraction in the city, enhance the UNESCO World Heritage property, encourage micro-enterprise opportunities, and support cultural activities.


Heritage Buildings and Associated Sites

The features of the Synagogue Historic District in Bridgetown include the following elements:


1. Nidhe Israel Synagogue

2. Jewish Cemetery

3. Mikvah


4. Nidhe Israel Museum


7. Emancipation Monument

5. Social Hall


8. Central Fire Brigade House

6. The Quakers


9. Artisan's Workshops