The wickedest city on earth
You've heard of the Pirates of the Caribbean. Port Royal was Pirate City from the very start!
The land is a 10 mile peninsula protecting the Kingston Harbour, the seventh largest natural harbour in the world!
It made a perfect natural harbour and a large settlement grew rapidly from the 1500’s onwards. Of course in those days the British pirates were sort of licensed bandits whose main aim was to plunder treasure from the Spanish and to bash the French a bit as well if they got the chance. Port Royal became their unofficial headquarters in the Caribbean.
Port Royal was not a polite city. It was well known for being rowdy, violent, dangerous, very rich and completely without morals.
Blackbeard, Henry Morgan, Calico Jack Rackham… pirates from as far away as Madagascar came to berth in Port Royal. It was pirate heaven, but it couldn’t last. As the city grew larger and richer, the more respectable people became more and more disgruntled with the debauchery and bad reputation and eventually anti-piracy laws were passed. Port Royal became the place where pirates were sent to be executed.
Then in 1692 there was a terrible earthquake. Almost all of Port Royal sank into the sea, killing half of the population. God’s justice, the people said.
Remarkably, the city slid under the sea fairly intact. Streets and houses lie on the seabed, their only visitors these days being either divers exploring or archeologists excavating.
These days Port Royal is a colourfull and vibrant fishing village. Many Seafood restaurants serve delicious fried or steamed fish with bammy. Jaunts to nearby islets or cays is popular with tourists and locals alike. Morgans Harbour Hotel and Marina, aptly named after the famous privateer Sir Henry Morgan, adds a touch of sophistication to Port Royal. Ynot Pier is the preferred bar for those in the know.