Photo: Getty Images/Urs Flueeler

By Kristine Hanse, March 15 2019

From Cuba to Curaçao, these buildings are as colorful as they are rich in history

Islands in the Caribbean are often equated with beaches, fruity drinks, and thatched-roof huts. But due to the region’s different governing countries, which have—on some islands—shifted numerous times over the past century, architectural influences vary drastically, folding in Georgian, Art Deco, Dutch Colonial, and other styles. For history buffs, there are also many deep layers of historical context as to how these styles came to migrate across the ocean, dating back to colonial pasts as well as the abhorrent slave trade era. Whether you are sailing through on a cruise ship or private yacht—or looking for a Caribbean island for your next vacation—here are some definite stops for aesthetes. From the Neo-Gothic structures in Barbados’s capital city of Bridgetown to Moorish buildings in Old Havana and a contemporary performing-arts center in Trinidad, here’s where to go in search of architecture as the sun warms your face.



La Romana, Dominican Republic

This 5,000-seat open-air Altos de Chavón amphitheater—designed by Italian architect Roberto Copa—looks like it belongs in Athens but was actually completed just before a 1982 concert by Frank Sinatra. Adjacent to the amphitheater is a replica 16th-century Mediterranean village with shops and restaurants. (…)

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