Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, is almost fairy tale in appearance, thanks to the tree-lined streets and avenues and the quaint Dutch colonial and Victorian architecture stemming from its days as Dutch and English colonies. Georgetown lies below the high-tide level, protected by a seawall with a series of canals crisscrossing the city.
Located on the mouth of the Demerara River fronting the Atlantic Ocean, Georgetown, originally called Stabroek, was an ideal location for European presence in the Caribbean. Rich in timber, bauxite, gold and diamonds, the land supported sugar cane plantations and enriched the colonial governments.
The Spanish, Dutch, French and English all had their eyes on this region and for years each struggled to possess it. The Dutch initially gained the upper hand and established Stabroek. The British occupied the Dutch colony during the Napoleonic Wars and renamed the capital, and largest city, in 1812 as Georgetown in honor of George Ill.