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Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica.

Kingston is located on the southeastern coast of the island and is the largest predominantly English-speaking city in the Caribbean.  It faces a natural harbor protected by the Palisadoes, which is a long sand spit that connects the town of Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island. Kingston was founded on 22 July 1692, shortly after the 1692 earthquake that devastated Port Royal.

Before the earthquake, Kingston's functions were purely agricultural.

By 1716, Kingston had become the largest town and the center of trade for Jamaica.

The government sold land to people with the regulation that they purchase no more than the amount of the land that they owned in Port Royal, and only land on the sea front.  By the end of the 18th century, the city contained more than 3,000 brick buildings.  The harbor fostered trade and was involved in several naval wars of the 18th century.

Kingston took over the functions of Spanish Town (the capital at the time). These functions included agriculture, commercial, processing and a main transport hub to and from Kingston and other sections of the island.

During the 1960s, the international attention of reggae music at that time coincided with the expansion and development of 95 acres of the Kingston city center waterfront area.  By the 1980s, most of the old buildings were demolished and the entire waterfront was re-developed with hotels, shops, offices, cultural centers, and cruise and cargo ship facilities.

Kingston is home to the seventh largest natural harbor in the world which serves as a trans-shipment point between South America and Europe.


* Information was obtained from the Jamaica National Heritage Trust website and several internet sources.