Seven Arches Museum

Phone: 340-774-9295 

Email: sevenarchesmuseum@att.net

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6456, St. Thomas, V.I. 00804 

Tours by appointment only. 

Located in Charlotte Amalie directly behind the Lieutenant Governor's Mansion on Government Hill (a 5-minute walk from Main Street) 

 

Curator: Ms. Barbara Demaras

Assistant: Enrique Corneiro 

 


 

 
 

Seven Arches Museum Phone: 340-774-9295 P.O. Box 6456, St. Thomas, V.I. 00804
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View of Seven Arches from Bluebeard's Castle

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Seven Arches Museum: A Townhouse on St. Thomas by Birgit Freiesleben

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The Danish West Indies in Black and White by Enrique Corneiro
 
Magazine article about the Seven Arches Museum
 
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Read more about the Seven Arches Museum in the travel guides: Fodor's, Frommer's, Berlitz, Trip Advisor and Caribya.com  

 

  
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Fort Christian est. 1671

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Located in Charlotte Amalie are three of the oldest and most prominent structures in the U.S. Virgin Islands: Fort Christian, Blackbeard's Castle and Bluebeard's Castle which together form a triangle with Government Hill located in the middle.

To protect the Charlotte Amalie harbor from attackers, the original plans for Fort Christian called for a water-filled moat to surround the fort, but the builders eventually decided on using cactus instead. 

Some suggest that the site for Government House was selected because of the placement of the three lookouts and fortresses armed with cannons ready and able to protect the Government Hill area from pirates and any other possible marauders.

Blackbeard's Castle est. 1678

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Located high on the hillside of Charlotte Amalie is Blackbeard's Castle.  Built in 1678, it is claimed to be the former home of the notorious pirate Edward Teach better known as Blackbeard.  The "castle" sits on the hillside directly behind Government Hill and to the north of the Charlotte Amalie Harbor.   

Upon entering the Seven Arches Museum you will be guided on a 15 to 30 minute tour of the house and courtyard.  Your will learn about the island's history as well as the history of some of it's most important leaders and families.  The curator, Barbara Demaras does all of the tours herself and makes sure to cater her tour to your specific taste and is a wealth of knowledge about the Virgin Islands history.  This is your opportunity to learn about the people, culture, music, plants and food of the islands.  Its like tasting spoon full of West Indian food, culture and history all in one delicious scoop. 

Seven Arches Museum est. 1802

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The Seven Arches Museum is a two-story yellow stone, brick and coral structure which serves as an excellent living example of 18th century Danish West Indian architecture.  Built in the late 1700's and named for the seven arches that support the home's main staircase, this is the only private residence museum in St. Thomas that is open to the public.  The museum also boasts one of the few remaining outdoor kitchens in the Virgin Islands.

Make sure to also see the collection of Danish West Indian coins, stationary and Royal Copanhagen dishes that were once used by the homeowners.  The house is painstakenly decorated as it would have been back around the turn of the century.  Visitors are urged to relax and take a break from the hurried pace of the mainland and appreciate the sweet sounds, smells and tastes that the islands have to offer.

View from the Government Hill Garden
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Seven Arches offers an excellent view of the St. Thomas harbor and cruise ship terminal.  Cool tropical breezes make the short walk up Government Hill a very pleasant as well as very rewarding experience for those willing to venture a few steps off the beaten path. The Seven Arches Museum offers a dramatic view of the Charlotte Amalie harbor and the cruise ship terminal.  As you enter the museum grounds the first thing that you see is the "welcoming arms" staircase and the assortment of beautiful flowers as well as many small humming birds and "yellow breasts" which are everywhere in the courtyard.

Bluebeard's Castle est. 1688

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On the hillside behind the Charlotte Amalie harbor is Bluebeard's Castle which was built around 1688 and overlooks the entire town below. 
Annaberg Plantation

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Virgin Islands History Timeline:
* 1493 Christoper Columbus discovered the Virgin Islands on his second voyage to the New World. 

* 1733 Slaves revolt due to harsh living conditions. The picture above is of the mill on Annaberg Plantation on St. John.

* 1848 Slavery was abolished in the Danish West Indies.
* 1971 The United States purchased the Danish West Indies from Denmark for $25,000,000.

* 1937 Virgin Islanders granted U.S. citizenship.

* 1950's the Virgin Islands becomes a major tourist destination. Cuba closed to Americans in 1962.

* 1960's week-long Carnival celebration becomes one of the largest inthe Caribbean.

*  Professional athletes Emile Griffith (boxer), Alvin Mc Bean, Elrod Hendricks and Horace Clark (baseball) hail the islands.  NBA basketball superstar Tim Duncan also did much to bring national recognition and publicity to the islands.

99 Steps

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The "99 Steps" located on Government Hill was constructed in the same way as many of the local buildings.  The steps were built using balast stones that were carried aboard ships traveling to the Virgin Islands.  Upon reaching the Virgin Islands, the balsat stones were removed and cargo in the form of sugar and molasses was loaded.

The Seven Arches Museum was also built using yellow ballast bricks and was home to several of the island's most prominant families like the Bonellis, the De Windts, the Schaltenbrandts and the Corneiros. 

From 1906 to 1965 the Seven Arches Museum was known simply as the "Corneiro House".  Fermin Corneiro and his son Conrad Corneiro purchased the home in 1906 and kept it in the family for 60 years.  

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