21 May, 2009

Redonda – The Uninhabited Kingdom of the Caribbean Sea


The “Kingdom of Redonda” or as it is mostly referred to, Redonda, is the name of a very small uninhabited island in the Caribbean Sea. This tiny island is located between two larger ones, named Nevis and Montserrat, and is under the administration of the Antigua and Barbuda. The shape of the island can give you an idea why it is uninhabited until today; it is tiny, very steep and rocky, featuring just a little green at the top of the rocks. It doesn’t have any fresh water; therefore human life there is not possible.

Redonda is a micro-nation; the fact that it is also a kingdom has been subject of comments and fun all over the world, however, it has been a kingdom for almost 120 years now. Its history begins back in the 15th century, when Columbus reached the shores of Redonda during his trips to the New World. He made it a marker for ships, a characteristic that remains until today, as many tourists sail up and down this part of the sea. Despite of the amount of people who travel around this area, very few ever landed there, as the rocky cliffs of the islet plunge down into the sea.

The idea of the Kingdom of Redonda originates with an author of fiction books, named M. Shiel. According to the author, his father Matthew Shiel who lived in Montserrat, proclaimed himself king of the island to establish himself as the single ruler of the island – and later on his son as the heir of the Kingdom and throne. It is not certain, though, if the story is true at all, or is a fictional creation of the known author.

In any case, Redonda appears in every travel guide of the Caribbean Sea and is considered to be pretty unique and impressive.

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