Pay tribute to Jamaica’s rich and checkered history at National Heroes Park, the largest public space in Kingston. The park is a popular botanical garden and also a burial site for a long list of important Jamaicans. What will first catch your eye are the sculptures: Unique and severe, these huge curved shapes tower over you.
Notice multiple memorials on the 49-acre (20-hectare) National Heroes Park site. Read a few of the plaques to build your understanding of this country and its cultures. The Jamaica War Memorial honors those killed in armed service, with ceremonies held here every Remembrance Day. The monument for Norman Manley, the statesman who advocated for universal suffrage, has pillars carefully arranged in concentric circles. Marcus Garvey, who was a political leader and is considered a prophet by the Rastafari movement, has a monument on a star-shaped platform.
Notice the four opposing curved poles, the monument for Jamaica’s second Prime Minster, Donald Sangster. You’ll see many more, including a monument for legendary female slave rebel Nanny of the Maroons and a memorial for the victims of a nursing home fire. The national heroes are in the area called the Shrine. Other outstanding patriots have their resting places separate from this.
Enjoy the open space and sunshine while you reflect on those who have died. Jamaica is popular for its beaches, mountains, reggae music and laid-back lifestyle, but there is plenty more to learn. Embark on a fascinating journey through different chapters of this unique country’s story and the people and events that built the modern nation. Take the time to see something authentic in a place with so many tourist attractions. As a bonus, you’ll see the Jamaica Defence Force, the security force guarding the park, conducting a “changing of the guard” on every hour.
National Heroes Park is in downtown Kingston. Stop at this spot for a break and take photos while you’re exploring the city.