Charlotte Amalie, located on St. Thomas, is the capital and largest city of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Founded in 1666 as Taphus (meaning "beer houses" or "beer halls"), the town has been inhabited for centuries. Hundreds of ferries and yachts pass through town each week, and at times the population more than doubles.
The city is known for its Danish colonial architecture, building structure and history, and a dozen streets and places throughout the city have Danish names. Charlotte Amalie has buildings of historical importance including St. Thomas Synagogue, the second-oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere, and Frederick Lutheran Church, the oldest Lutheran church in the Western Hemisphere. The town has a long history of pirates, especially stories of Bluebeard and Blackbeard (Edward Teach). In the 17th century, the Danes built both Blackbeard's Castle and Bluebeard's Castle attributed to the pirates. Blackbeard's Castle is a U.S.National Historic Landmark. Another tourist attraction is Fort Christian, the oldest standing structure in the Virgin Islands Archipelago. A copy of the Liberty Bell is in Emancipation Park, which is a tourist attraction.