Nassau: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nassau may mean the following:


  • Nassau, Bahamas, capital city of the Bahamas, on the island of New Providence
Cook Islands
  • Sudirman Range, aka Nassau Range: one of the names of the highest mountain range in Indonesia
United States

House of Nassau

Of the House of Orange-Nassau, royal dynasty of the Netherlands:


Of the branch of Nassau-Siegen

Of the branch of Nassau-Weilburg, ultimately the grand ducal dynasty of Luxembourg


See also



  • USS Nassau (CVE-16), a United States Navy escort aircraft carrier
  • USS Nassau (LHA-4), a United States Navy amphibious assault ship
  • SMS Nassau, a German battleship
  • Nassau (steamboat), a steamboat placed in operation by Robert Fulton between Manhattan and Brooklyn in the U.S. state of New York in 1814

Other uses

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Downtown Nassau.
Downtown Nassau.

Nassau is the capital of The Bahamas, a member of the British Commonwealth. It is the largest city in the Bahamas and its low-rise sprawl dominates the eastern half of New Providence Island.

For other places with the same name, see Nassau (disambiguation).


Founded around 1650 by the British as Charles Town, the town was renamed in 1695 after William III of Orange-Nassau in 1695. Due to the Bahamas' strategic location near trade routes and its multitude of islands, Nassau soon became a popular pirates' den, and British rule was soon challenged by the self-proclaimed "Privateers Republic" under the leadership of the infamous Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard. However, the alarmed British soon tightened their grip, and by 1720 the pirates had been killed or driven out.

Today, with a population of 200,000, Nassau contains nearly 70% of the population of the Bahamas. However, it's still quite low-rise and laid back, with the pretty pastel pink government buildings and the looming giant cruise ships that dock daily.


Orienting yourself in central Nassau is fairly easy. Bay Street, which runs parallel to the shore, is the main shopping street, filled with an odd mix of expensive jewelry boutiques and trashy souvenir shops. The hill that rises behind Bay St contains most of the Bahamas' government buildings and company headquarters, while the poor residential Over-the-Hill district starts on the other side.

Get in

By air

Nassau's Lynden Pindling International Airport (IATA: NAS, ICAO: MYNN) is the largest airport in the Bahamas. Most major U.S. airlines (with the notable exceptions of Northwest and Southwest) have flights to Nassau. Limited service from Toronto and London also exists.

The airport itself has seen better days, but the free drinks occasionally served on arrival and the live band serenading the Immigration hall help set the tone. No public transport is available at the airport, but there's a list of fixed taxi fares posted at the exit. It's about US$25 and 10 mi (16 km) to most hotels in central Nassau.

On the way back, note that there are three terminal concourses: domestic and charter flights, flights to the US, and non-US international flights. US Immigration/Customs preclearance can be very time-consuming, so show up at least two hours before your flight. Security for other destinations is considerably more laid back, and an hour should suffice.

By sea

Nassau is a favorite port of call for the many cruise ships plying the Bahamas. Up to seven cruise ships can dock at the Prince George Wharf Cruise Terminal adjacent to downtown Nassau.

Get around

By water taxi

A water taxi service is an available alternative to a taxi to get to Paradise Island from downtown. It is picked up under the bridge and costs $6 round trip. The water taxi stops operating at 6PM.

By minibus

Minibuses (locally know as jitneys) act as the bus system of Nassau city and New Providence island. Jitneys are found on and near Bay Street. The famous #10 Jitney to Cable Beach loads passengers on George & Bay Streets (in front of McDonalds, across from the British Colonial Hilton). Other jitneys are located on Charlotte & Bay Streets. A bus will typically wait until it's full before departing. Understanding the various routes can be complex. Many have destinations painted on the bus, but there is no standard as they are run by multiple companies and individuals. Ask around for your destination. Note that there is no jitney that goes to Paradise Island (Atlantis Resort).

Journeys cost $1.25 per person, per ride. A round trip, even if not getting off the bus (ie: sightseeing), is counted as two rides. Payment is received by the driver when disembarking. No change is given, and there is no transfer credit for changing busses.

The Jitney is definitely a very inexpensive way to enjoy the local culture. Be aware that the jitneys stop operating between 6 and 7 PM. The only way back to downtown after 7 PM is by taxi which can be quite expensive.

By taxi

Taxis, often minivans and always identifiable by their yellow license plates and little Gothic blackletter "Taxi" lettering, roam the streets of Nassau. They're equipped with meters but will usually refuse to use them, so agree on the fare in advance. Expect to pay $15-$20 for even the shortest of trips from downtown to Cable beach.

By car

You could also rent a car. All major U.S car rental shops are in Nassau. Worthy of note for travelers from the UK is the very British feel of the roads. Unlike the nearby US, the Nassau roads are left hand drive, have UK road signs and even the odd roundabout.

By scooter

Scooter (small motorcycle) rental is also popular in Nassau.

By bike

Bicycle rental is not popular and not recommended as traffic is bad, there are many blind corners in the old streets of Nassau, and cars drive recklessly and on the left side of the road, which you may not be used to.

By foot

Within downtown Nassau, you could walk around. Distances are very short and a walking tour is a pleasant way of exploring downtown Nassau.

Parliament House
Parliament House
  • Take a walk around Old Town, an interesting mixture of abandoned buildings and bright Caribbean structures. It doesn't take long to get away from the over-scrubbed tourist areas in the very center. Walk ten minutes uphill to the pink Parliament Building, which still has a statue of an enthroned Queen Victoria out front.
  • Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation Center, 242-323-5806 (, fax: 242-323-7232), [1]. 9AM-5PM. Visit the Bahamas' only zoo. See the marching flamingo shows. Let the parakeets land on you as you feed them. $15.   edit
  • National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, West & West Hill Streets, 1-242-328-5800, [2]. Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM. Opened in 2003, this showcases Bahamian art from the precolonial era to the present. The quality of art is rather uneven to say the least, but the renovated building — once the residence of the Chief Justice — is a sight in itself. Adults $5, Students/seniors $3.  edit
  • Pirate Museum, 1-242-356-3759 (), [3]. M-Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 9AM-noon. Recreations of a pirate town, a pirate ship and a pirate battle, with a few real artifacts mixed in. Cheesy, but fun. Try to catch a guided tour. $12.  edit
Fort Fincastle.
Fort Fincastle.
  • Fort Fincastle, [4]. A small fort built in 1793 which overlooks the city of Nassau from a small hill south of town. Several cannons are on display. Tours are conducted Monday through Sunday, 8am to 3pm.  edit


The bus tours are pretty interesting. They'll drive you around, and tell you about the local government, tell you about different points of interest, and take you to old forts, and to Paradise Island, to see the famous Atlantis hotel resort and its stunning aquarium.

  • Straw Market, Bay St. Originally a locals' market, this is now devoted to touristy bric-a-brac. If you are in the market for some souvenirs, this is the place to come. Don't be discouraged by the initial price of things, as this is the only place you can barter for a better one. You don't have to worry about exchanging any money either, as US currency is accepted universally.
  • Potters' Cay, under the Paradise Island bridge. Best known for its fish market, and there are plenty of stalls that prepare fresh conch salad, conch fritters and other Bahamian seafood delicacies, but there's plenty of other exotic tropical produce available too.


Get out of the hotel and try real Bahamaian fare. You can get greasy fish, sides and desserts at one of the holes-in-the-wall in downtown Nassau for around $8. On the upscale side, there's no shortage of waterside seafood restaurants where it would be easy to part with $50 for an excellent piece of lobster. Sbarros, McDonalds and Chinese restaurants are mixed in to satisfy the budget diner or someone who has had enough conch.

  • The Shoal Restaurant and Lounge, Nassau Street, 323-4200. Sa-Th 7:30AM-11PM, Fri 7AM-7PM. If the tourist crowds are getting you down, take a taxi out to where the locals eat. Enjoy fish that falls off the bone, friendly service, and a dessert of guava duff. $10-$20.  edit
  • Cafe Matisse, Bank Lane (behind Parliament Sq, off Bay St), 1-242-356-7012, [5]. Tue-Sat noon-11 PM. Tucked away on a quiet lane, Matisse serves excellent Italian food with fresh local ingredients. Reservations recommended; try to get a seat in the delightful garden courtyard, which is shady by day and lit up at night. "Proper" dress (no shorts or sandals) required for dinner. $50-70.  edit


Nassau isn't a spring break mecca for nothing. The club scene is nightly and rowdy. Some popular establishments:

  • Señor Frogs, (242) 323-1777, [6]. 11AM-3AM. right next to the cruise dock. Situated next a stinky sewer pipe, check which way the wind is blowing before you order. Doesn't serve Kalik.  edit
  • Club Waterloo, East Bay Street, [7]. 8PM-4AM. on the north side of the island, about two miles from the dock.  edit
  • Cocktails and Dreams, West Bay Street, (242) 328 3745. draws a sketchier crowd, although it is on the beach. Come here in a group.  edit
  • Club Fluid. draws a very local crowd. you will get lots of recommendations from Bahamians you meet but it is not a tourist club at all. It is in a dark, dirty, basement. There is nowhere to sit and the dance floor is concrete. The drinks are terrible and watered down.  edit

Cover charges average $20, although all major hotels sell "passes" for $5. With a pass, cover charge is only $5, so you actually pay $10. Cover charges on weekends can climb up to $45, so it's a good idea to get a pass from your local taxi driver/hotel desk.

You can also opt for an all-inclusive entertainment pass, which will include a schedule. Expect to follow this itinerary with at least 5,000 other co-eds. (It might be a good idea to pick up this schedule even if you don't plan on participating. It will give you a good idea of places to avoid on certain nights.)

Drinks in clubs can get expensive, depending on the club and its location. Most locals "drink up" before going out, to defray this cost... That or they can be found in the parking lots with a cooler ;) Expect to pay at least $4 for a beer and $5 for a cocktail. The one exception is rum, which is cheap and plentiful. Cocktails with rum at a club, will be strong.


Many of Nassau's hotels are located outside the city core on Paradise Island or Cable Beach.

  • British Colonial Hilton Nassau, One Bay Street, +1 (242) 322-3301 (fax: +1 (242) 302-9010), [8]. A hotel catering more to business travelers than package tourists. Occupies a historical landmark (Fort Nassau), and has its own private beach, from which you get a fantastic view of the cruise ships going into, going out of, and berthed at the docks. Step out of the hotel and you're right downtown on Bay Street's shopping attractions.  edit
  • Quality Inn Nassau Bahamas, West Bay & Nassau Street, +1 (242) 322-1515 (, fax: +1 (242) 322-1514), [9]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. Located across the street from Junkanoo Beach, this hotel offers stunning views of white sandy beaches and the crystal-clear blue water of the Atlantic Ocean.  edit
  • Sunrise Oceanfront Cottage (, Eastern Point, Nassau, Bahamas (Eastern Road travelling East, pass Prince Charles Drive T-junction on your right, beach on the left, after the 3rd house on your left, turn left, straight ahead yellow cottage on the ocean), 001-242-324-0105, [10]. $50.pp.  edit
Colonial wreck, Over-the-Hill
Colonial wreck, Over-the-Hill

The "Over-the-Hill" area south of downtown is the poorest part of Nassau, and tourists might want to be wary. It is, however, much nicer than "slums" in the Third World, and indeed, parts of the United States.

Some criminals target restaurants and nightclubs frequented by tourists. The most common approach is to offer victims a ride, either as a "personal favor" or by claiming to be a taxi, and then robbing and/or assaulting the passenger once they are in the car. Take care to ride only in licensed taxis, identifiable by their yellow license plates.

Be wary of the natives offering goods and services. They will tell you anything to get you jet-skiing, on booze cruises, etc.

Locals may solicit tourists with offers of marijuana, hairbraiding services, or a taxi ride. It gets monotonous but a friendly "no thank you" and moving on will keep both you and the local happy.

Most Cuban cigars for sale in Nassau are counterfeit. Only buy from reputable dedicated tobacconists. See warning on main Bahamas page.

  • Paradise Island Located just across a bridge from Nassau, it is home to the lavish Atlantis hotel and resort.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

NASSAU, a territory of Germany, now forming the bulk of the government district of Wiesbaden, in the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau, but until 1866 an independent and sovereign duchy of Germany. It consists of a compact mass of territory, 1830 sq. m. in area, bounded on the S. and W. by the Main and Rhine, on the N. by Westphalia and on the E. by Hesse. This territory is divided into two nearly equal parts by the river Lahn, which flows from east to west into the Rhine. The southern half is almost entirely occupied by the Taunus Mountains, which attain a height of 2900 ft. in the Great Feldberg, while to the north of the Lahn is the barren Westerwald, culminating in the Salzburgerkopf (2000 ft.). The valleys and low-lying districts, especially the Rheingau, are very fertile, producing abundance of grain, flax, hemp and fruit; but by far the most valuable product of the soil is its wine, which includes several of the choicest Rhenish varieties, such as Johannisberger, Marcobrunner and Assmannshauser. Nassau is one of the most thickly wooded regions in Germany, about 42% of its surface being occupied by forests, which yield good timber and harbour large quantities of game. The rivers abound in fish, the salmon fisheries on the Rhine being especially important. There are upwards of a hundred mineral springs in the district, most of which formerly belonged to the duke, and afforded him a considerable part of his revenue. The best known are those of Wiesbaden, Ems, Soden, Schwalbach, Schlangenbad, Geilnau and Fachingen. The other mineral wealth of Nassau includes iron, lead, copper, building stone, coals, slate, a little silver and a bed of malachite. Its manufactures, including cotton and woollen goods, are unimportant, but a brisk trade is carried on by rail and river in wine, timber, grain and fruit. There are few places of importance besides the above-named spas; Hechst is the only manufacturing town. Wiesbaden, with ioo,955 inhabitants, is the capital of the government district as it was of the duchy. In 1864 the duchy contained 468,311 inhabitants, of whom 242,000 were Protestants, 215,000 Roman Catholics and 7000 Jews. The ecclesiastical jurisdiction was in the hands of the Protestant bishop of Wiesbaden and the Roman Catholic bishop of Limburg. Education was amply provided for in numerous higher and lower schools. The annual revenue of the dukedom was about £400,000 and it furnished a contingent of 6000 men to the army of the German Confederation.


During the Roman period the district enclosed by the Rhine, the Main and the Lahn was occupied by the Mattiaci and later by the Alamanni. The latter were subdued by the Franks under Clovis at the end of the 5th century, and at the partition of Verdun in 843 the country became part of the East Frankish or German kingdom. Christianity seems to have been introduced in the 4th century. The founder of the house of Nassau is usually regarded as a certain Drutwin (d. 1076), who, with his brother Dudo, count of Laurenburg, built a castle on a hill overlooking the Lahn, near the present town of Nassau. Drutwin's descendant Walram (d. 1198) took the title of count of Nassau, and placed his lands under the immediate suzerainty of the German king; previously he had been a vassal of the archbishop of Trier. Then in 1255 Walram's grandsons, Walram and Otto, divided between them their paternal inheritance,. which had been steadily increasing in size. Walram took the part of Nassau lying on the left bank of the Lahn and made Wiesbaden his residence; Otto took the part on the right bank of the river and his capital was Siegen. The brothers thus founded the two branches of the house of Nassau, which have flourished to the present time.

The fortunes of the Ottonian, or younger line, belong mainly to. the history of the Netherlands. The family was soon divided into several branches, and in the 15th century one of its members, Count Engelbert I. (d. 1442), obtained through marriage lands in Holland. Of his two sons one took the Dutch, and the other the German possessions of the house, but these were united again in 1504 under the sway of John, count of Nassau-Dillenburg, the head of a branch of the family which, in consequence of a series of deaths, the last of which took place in 1561, was a few years later the sole representative of the descendants of Count Otto. John's son was Count William the Rich (d. 1559), and his grandson was the hero, William the Silent, who inherited the principality of Orange in 1544 and surrendered his prospective inheritance in Nassau to his brother John (d. 1606). William and his descendants were called princes of Orange-Nassau, and the line became extinct when the English king William III. died in 1702. Meanwhile the descendants of Count John, the rulers of Nassau, were flourishing. They were divided into several branches, and in 1702 the head of one of these, John William Friso of Nassau-Dietz (d. 1711), whose ancestor had been made a prince of the Empire in 1654, inherited the title of prince of Orange and the lands of the English king in the Netherlands. A few years later in 1743 a number of deaths left John William's son, William, the sole representative of his family, and as such he ruled over the ancestral lands both in Nassau and in the Netherlands. In 1806, however, these were taken from a succeeding prince, William VI., because he refused to join the Confederation of the Rhine. Some of them were given in 1815 to the other main line of the family, the one descended from Count Walram (see below). In 1815 William VI. became king of the Netherlands as William I., and was compensated for this loss by the grant of parts of Luxemburg and the title of grandduke. When in 1890 William's male line died out Luxemburg, like Nassau, passed to the descendants of Count Walram. In the female line he is now represented by the queen of the Netherlands.

Adolph of Nassau, a son of Walram, the founder of the elder line of the house of Nassau, became German king in 1292, but was defeated and slain by his rival, Albert of Austria, in 1298. The territories of his descendants were partitioned several times, but these branch lines did not usually perpetuate themselves beyond a few generations, and Walram's share of Nassau was again united in 1605 under Louis II. of Nassau-Weilburg (d. 1626). Soon, however, the family was again divided; three branches were formed, those of Saarbriicken, Idstein and Weilburg, the heads of the first two becoming princes of the Empire in 1688. Other partitions followed, but at the opening of the 19th century only two lines were flourishing, those of NassauUsingen and Nassau-Weilburg. In 1801 Charles William, prince of Nassau-Usingen, was deprived by France of his lands on the left bank of the Rhine,.but both he and Frederick William of Nassau-Weilburg, who suffered a similar loss, received ample compensation. In 1806 both Frederick William and Frederick Augustus, the brother and successor of Charles William, joined the Confederation of the Rhine and received from Napoleon the title of duke, but after the battle of Leipzig they threw in their lot with the allies, and in 1815 joined the German Confederation. As a result of the changes of 1815 Frederick Augustus of Nassau-Usingen ceded some of his newly-acquired lands to Prussia, receiving in return the greater part of the German possessions of the Ottonian branch of the house of Nassau (see above). In March 1816 he died without sons and the whole of Nassau was united under the rule of Frederick William of Nassau-Weilburg as duke of Nassau. Already in 1814 Frederick William had granted a constitution to his subjects, which provided for two representative chambers, and under his son William, who succeeded in 1816, the first landtag met in 1818. At once, however, it came into collision with the duke about the ducal domains, and these dissensions were not settled until 1836. In this year the duchy took an important step in the development of its material prosperity by joining the German Zollverein. In 1848 Duke Adolph, the son and successor of Duke William, was compelled to yield to the temper of the times and to grant a more liberal constitution to Nassau, but in the following years a series of reactionary measures reduced matters to their former unsatisfactory condition. The duke adhered stedfastly to his conservative principles, while his people showed their sympathies by electing one liberal landtag after another. In 1866 Adolph espoused the cause of Austria, sent his troops into the field and asked the landtag for money. This was refused, Adolph was soon a fugitive before the Prussian troops, and on the 3rd of October 1866 Nassau was formally incorporated with the kingdom of Prussia. The deposed duke entered in 1867 into a convention with Prussia by which he retained a few castles and received an indemnity of about £1,500,000 for renouncing his claim to Nassau. In 1890, on the extinction of the collateral line of his house, he became grand-duke of Luxemburg, and he .died on the 17th of November 1905.

The town of Nassau (Lat. Nasonga) on the right bank of the Lahn, 15 m. above Coblenz, is interesting as the birthplace of the Prussian statesman, Freiherr von Stein. Pop. (1905) 2238. It has a Roman Catholic and an Evangelical church, while its main industries are brewing and mining. Near the town are the ruins of the castle of Stein, first mentioned in 1138, with a marble statue of Stein, while the ruins of the ancestral castle of the house of Nassau may also be seen.

For the history of Nassau see Hennes, Geschichte der Grafen von Nassau bis 1255 (Cologne, 1843); von Schutz, Geschichte des Herzogturns Nassau (Wiesbaden, 1853); von Witzleben, Genealogie and Geschichte der Fiirstenhauses Nassau (Stuttgart, 1855); F. W. T. Schliephake and K. Menzel, Geschichte von Nassau (Wiesbaden, 1865-1889); the Codex diplomaticus nassoicus, edited by K. Menzel and W. Sauer (1885-1887); and the Annalen des Vereins fiir nassauische Altertumskunde and Geschichtsforschung (1827 fol.).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Proper noun




  1. The capital of the Bahamas.

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