Originally constructed in the late 1700s for slave auctions and council meetings, the public square in Basseterre was officially rechristened in 1983 to commemorate the independence of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis from Great Britain. In darker days, human chattel were kept in tunnels under the Georgian House (now a gourmet restaurant) on the south side of the square before being brought up for bidding. Today the space is a gathering place for promenaders, family outings, impromptu gatherings, and any number of parades, parties and festivals.
Adorned with a large fountain at its center, the formerly named Pall Mall Square is surrounded by excellent examples of British Colonial architecture. The perimeters are bordered by old stone buildings and period appropriate wooden structures painted in white and pastels that make Independence Square one of the central hubs of the cultural life of the region.
It is important to keep in mind that when in the city and other public places around Basseterre to be sure to wear shoes and a shirt. It is considered highly disrespectful to make the transition from beach to civilized spaces without donning the appropriate attire.