|2048 Aerial view of Charlotte Amalie and Hassel Island|
Located on mid-island on the south shore of Saint Thomas (the largest of the four main islands of Virgin Islands of the United States), Charlotte Amalie is the capital and largest city of this unincorporated territory of the United States. Built on three low volcanic spurs called Frenchman Hill (Foretop Hill), Berg Hill (Maintop), and Government Hill (Mizzentop), it stretches about 1.5 miles around Saint Thomas Harbor, being protected by the peaks of Water Island and Hassel Island.
Founded in 1666 as Taphus (meaning "beer houses"), in 1691 was renamed to Amalienborg (in English Charlotte Amalie) after Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel (1650-1714), queen consort to King Christian V of Denmark. In 1764, it was declared a free port by king Frederick V, becoming the busiest harbor in the Caribbean. In the 19th century the town suffered a gradual breakdown, and fell into an unsuccessful dormancy until the United States bought the islands from Denmark in 1917.
In nowadays its economy is based on tourism, handicrafts, jewelry, and the production of rum, bay rum, and jams. It is the most popular cruise ship destination in the Caribbean Sea, and hundreds of ferries and yachts pass through town each week, and at times the population more than doubles. The Danes left castles, cemeteries, churches, forts, town homes, sugar mills and plantation houses that are still standing, so that the town is known for its Danish colonial architecture.
About the stamps
The first stamp, depicting the Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly, is the fourth butterfly stamp for use on large greeting card envelopes from a definitive series about which I wrote here. The second stamp is part of the series Vintage Circus Posters, about which I wrote here.
Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands - Wikipedia
Sent from Houston? (Texas / United States), on 19.05.2014
Photo: Don Hebert