Take one of the narrow, steep walks up to Government Hill, the heart of Charlotte Amalie’s historic district. Government House is the largest and most conspicuous building on Government Hill. The present structure, the fourth official residence of the chief executive, was built in 1867 by St. Croix carpenter Richard Bright. It was designed by a local merchant, Otto Marstrand. Built of white brick, Government House is most notable for its covered balconies with slender, fluted columns and ironwork rails. Pop your head in to see if you can take a look around the interior; the security guards may let you as long as no official function is going on.
There are several long staircases in this part of Charlotte Amalie, the most famous being the 99 Steps (wrongly named—there are 103), which take you farther up Government Hill to Trygborg, a Danish lookout tower that dates back to 1680. You can climb to the top of Trygborg if you join one of the paid walking tours offered by Blackbeard’s Castle.
Back at the bottom of 99 Steps is Hotel 1829. Formerly the Lavalette House, the hotel was built around 1831 by a wealthy French merchant, Alexander Lavalette. Set well above street level, this old home now houses a small hotel and bar. Visitors are welcome in the afternoon, when the bar opens.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Virgin Islands, 4th edition