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Blackbeard's Castle

Blackbeard's Castle is one of five National Historic Landmarks in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is located in the city of Charlotte Amalie, on the island of St. Thomas. Built in 1679 by the Danes as a watchtower to protect the harbor as well as Fort Christian. Blackbeard's Castle was originally called Skytsborg (meaning protection castle). It is located at the highest point on Government Hill. Skytsborg served as a very effective vantage point for Danish soldiers to spot enemy ships. Fort Christian is at sea level, thus making it ideal for thwarting attackers with cannon fire; however, the fort itself did not provide an ideal view of incoming ships entering the harbor. It is not known what year Skytsborg took on the name of Blackbeard's Castle, but the infamous Edward Teach, commonly known as Blackbeard, did sail the Caribbean waters in the early 18th century. It has become part of the lore of the island that he used the tower as a lookout for his own purposes of piracy.