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 Kingston (population 600,000) is the capital of Jamaica. It is located on the southeastern coast of the island country at 17°59'N 76°48'W. It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long sandspit which connects Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island.

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Note that Kingston the city (often called Greater Kingston or the "Corporate Area") is much larger than the parish of Kingston that includes only the old Downtown and Port Royal. Much of the "Corporate Area" is situated in the Parish of St. Andrew, the two parishes having been amalgamated by the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation Act of 1923.

Founded in 1693 by the English after a disastrous earthquake destroyed much of the previous main port city of Port Royal (French for King's Port), the city became the seat of administration for Jamaica in 1872. It kept this status when the island was granted independence in 1962. On January 14, 1907, an earthquake in Kingston killed more than 1,000 people.

Apart from being the seat of the Jamaican government, the city is also home to the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies founded in 1948. Several annual and well-visited festivals are held in Kingston.

Two parts comprise the central area of Kingston: the historic but troubled Downtown, and New Kingston, which is home to the city's most visited attraction, the Bob Marley Museum (built at his former residence). Several other reggae stars, including Buju Banton and Beenie Man, also hail from Kingston. Other attractions include the nearby Hellshire and Lime Cay beaches, the National Gallery of Jamaica, the ruins of Port Royal, and Devon House, a mansion with adjoining park that once belonged to Jamaica's first black millionaire.

Kingston is served by Norman Manley International Airport and also by the smaller and primarily domestic Tinson Pen Airport.


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