Brick-red and imposing, Fort Christian (Veteran’s Dr., 340/776-4566, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., $3 adults) on the eastern end of the Charlotte Amalie  waterfront is the oldest building in use on St. Thomas  and a national historic landmark. Built between 1672 and 1680 by African laborers under direction of Danish colonialists and named for King Christian V of Denmark, the fort was the center of political and community life during the early years of Danish colonization of the Virgin Islands . The fort housed the governor’s residence, town hall, court, and jail, as well as its first church.
In 2005, the local government began extensive repairs, which closed Fort Christian to the public for three years. During the construction, workers, among other things, repaired a 141-year-old crack in the southern bastion that bore the brunt of an 1867 tidal wave. In 2008, the fort’s clock was reinstalled and began to mark the hours for the first time in decades. The fort is now open again to the public, but work is not complete. In the coming years, contractors will restore the courtyard, the governor’s quarters, and church, and they will install new interpretive displays.