Portal:British Virgin Islands

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British Virgin Islands


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Location of the British Virgin Islands in the World

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is a British overseas territory, located in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico. The islands make up part of the Virgin Islands archipelago, the remaining islands constituting the U.S. Virgin Islands. Technically the name of the Territory is simply the "Virgin Islands", but in practice since 1917 they have been almost universally referred to as the "British Virgin Islands" to distinguish the islands from the American Territory. To add to the regional confusion, the Puerto Rican islands of Culebra, Vieques and surrounding islands began referring to themselves as the "Spanish Virgin Islands" as part of a tourism drive in the early 2000s. Administratively, these islands are part of Spanish speaking Puerto Rico, and were historically ruled by Spain.

The British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, along with over fifty other smaller islands and cays. Approximately fifteen of the islands are inhabited. The largest island, Tortola, is approximately 20 km (approx. 12 mi) long and 5 km (approx. 3 mi) wide. The islands have a total population of about 22,000, of whom approximately 18,000 live on Tortola. Road Town, the capital, is situated on Tortola.

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Roadtown, Tortola.jpg

Road Town, located on Tortola island, is the capital of the British Virgin Islands. It is situated on the horseshoe-shaped Road Harbour in the centre of the island's south coast. The town's population is about 9,400 (as of 2004).[1]

The name is derived from the nautical term "the roads", a place less sheltered than a harbour but which ships can easily get to. A 67-acre (27 ha) area called Wickhams Cay was reclaimed from the sea and is the center of tourism. The oldest building in Road Town, the old HM Prison on Main Street, dates from the 1840s. (more...)

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D. Orlando Smith, OBE (born August 28, 1944) is a former Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands. He achieved that position when his National Democratic Party won parliamentary elections in 2003 for the first time in its history.

Dr Orlando Smith, OBE originally qualified as a physician, specializing in general surgery, and was the Territory's chief medical officer for many years both before and after entering politics. He entered politics at a relatively late stage of his career, being first elected to the Legislative Council of the British Virgin Islands in the 1999 general election, as the head of the newly formed National Democratic Party (NDP). In 2003 Dr Smith led the NDP to victory, defeating the ruling Virgin Islands Party for the first time since 1971 in the 2003 general election. (more...)

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St Phillips Church, Tortola.jpg
Photo credit: Legis
The ruins of St Phillip's Church, Tortola, one of the more important historical ruins in the Territory.

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Islands of the British Virgin Islands


Coat of arms of the British Virgin Islands.svg

Anegada · Beef Island · Bellamy Cay · Buck Island · Carvel Rock · Cockroach Island · Cooper Island · Dead Chest Cay · Dead Chest Island · Diamond Cay · Dog Islands · Drowned Island · East Seal Dog Island · Eustatia Island · Fallen Jerusalem Island · Flanagan Island · Frenchman's Cay · George Dog Island · Ginger Island · Great Camanoe · Great Dog Island · Great Thatch · Great Tobago Island · Green Cay · Guana Island · Jost Van Dyke · Little Anegada · Little Camanoe · Little Cay · Little Jost Van Dyke · Little Seal Dog Island · Little Sisters · Little Thatch · Little Tobago · Little Wickmans Cay · Marina Cay · Mosquito Island · Nanny Cay · Necker Island · Norman Island · Old Jerusalem Island · Oyster Rock · Pelican Island · Peter Island · Prickly Pear · Saba Rock · Salt Island · Sandy Cay · Sandy Spit  · Scrub Island · Spanish Island · Tortola · Virgin Gorda · West Dog Island · Whale Rock

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  1. ^ United Kingdom - British Virgin Islands Commonwealth Secretariat