Quest launched to have ‘Sunken City of Port Royal’ added to World Heritage sites

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Jamaica Observer reports on the Sunken City of Port Royal and its tentative status as World Heritage site since 2019.

Jamaica is on a quest to obtain a World Heritage inscription for the sunken city of Port Royal, announced Culture Minister, Olivia Grange.

If this is achieved, Port Royal will be one of only three such sites in the world. The others are in Alexandria, Greece and in Bahia, Italy.  “The Sunken City of Port Royal will have a tremendous impact on our heritage tourism product for destination Jamaica as we prepare our nomination for UNESCO designation of it as a World Heritage Site,” Grange wrote on social media Wednesday.  “Mexico and Japan are assisting Jamaica with the Heritage Impact Assessment Study of the Port Royal Sunken City in our effort to obtain the UNESCO World Heritage Designation,” she stated.

Commonly referred to as “the most wickedest city on the world”, Port Royal in the 1600s was one of the most famous English cities on the planet, famous the world over for its booze known as ‘Kill Devil Rum’, and its pirates, among other things. The city was ruled by the notorious pirate, Captain Henry Morgan.

At the height of its glittering wealth, on June 7, 1692, Port Royal was destroyed when a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the island and the city was hit by Tsunami waves.

Reports are that some 33 acres of the city disappeared under water, four of the five forts were destroyed or submerged, and 2,000 people were killed. The cemetery where Captain Morgan was buried slipped into the sea.

Grange used her social media post to show images shot by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust divers on Friday, October 22, of sections of the ‘Sunken City of Port Royal’. “The pictures are of some of the buildings that were excavated in a project undertaken by Texas A and Am University’s Institute of Nautical Archaeology in collaboration with the JNHT between 1981 and 1990,” the minister said. “The images are of brick walls and brick floors,” she noted.

For original article, see

Also see “Jamaica hopes to get World Heritage inscription for Port Royal Sunken City,” PBC Jamaica,

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