History and Cultures
In 1493, Christopher Columbus sailed past Antigua, which at the time was known as ‘Wa ‘ladli’ by its West Indian inhabitants, the Arawaks. It is thought that Columbus gave the island the name ‘Santa Maria la Antigua’ after an icon in Spain’s Seville Cathedral.
In 1632, Sir Christopher Codrington established the first European settlement in Antigua. Under Codrington’s command, the island developed into a successful sugar colony. The island because known as the ‘gateway to the Caribbean’, as it was located amidst the major sailing routes.
Antigua and Barbuda became an independent state in 1981.
A mixture of British and African culture can be felt and witnessed throughout Antigua, from the colonial architecture to the Calypso and Soca music which reverberates through the island.
Tourists and inhabitants alike can enjoy British sports, such as boat racing, whilst savouring the relaxed Caribbean atmosphere which Antigua enjoys.