The capital of St. Kitts is picturesque Basseterre, located near the seaboard of the west coast. It became the British capital in 1727 and has since had its share of natural disasters–floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires. A fire in 1867 destroyed a great deal of the city, but Basseterre was rebuilt and expanded. The Circus, located where Bank Street, Fort Street, and Bay Road intersect, is a result of that reconstruction and a worthwhile stop. Built in traditional English style after London's famous Piccadilly Circus, it's the heart of the town, with business people, taxi drivers, and tourists bustling about. The Berkeley Memorial, built in honour of Thomas Berkeley, former president of the General Legislative Council, is the centrepiece of the Circus. Turn right on Bank Street and head for Independence Square. Built in 1790 for slave auctions and council meetings, it offers charming, well-preserved examples of Colonial architecture. Be sure to visit the St. Christopher Heritage Society located in downtown Basseterre, upstairs above T.D.C. Rental with entrances on Bank Street. Here, information may be obtained on the environmental, historical, and cultural heritage of St. Kitts. A photographic exhibition is also on display. The island's growing Documentation Centre is an important source of information, and Heritage magazine may be purchased here, providing further insight into St. Kitts' culture and history. After a break, move on to magnificent St. George's Church on Cayon Street surrounded by well-manicured lawns and gardens. It was originally called Notre Dame when built by the French in 1670. However, the British burned it to the ground in 1706 and rebuilt it four years later, naming it after the patron saint of England, St. George. Fires in 1763 and 1867, and an earthquake in 1843 caused the church to be rebuilt three more times. St. George's, as it stands today, is the result of restoration in 1869. There's also a lot to see outside of Basseterre. Rent a car or hire a taxi and head up the west coast along the island road. Several miles ahead is Bloody Point at Stone Fort River, the site where over 2,000 Carib Indians were massacred by combined British and French forces in 1626. The story is told that the Caribs, with a force of 3,000 men, were planning to attack the Europeans, who were settling on the island in large numbers. The British and French uncovered the plot and slaughtered the Caribs in this canyon and ravine.