Charlotte Amalie (əmälˈē) [key], town (2010 pop. 10,354), capital of the Virgin Islands of the United States, on St. Thomas Island. It is the commercial center of the islands, a free port, and a popular tourist resort. Founded in the late 17th cent., Charlotte Amalie was a center of Danish colonial life. It became important as a trading center during the American Civil War. It was renamed St. Thomas in 1921, but the former Danish name was restored in 1937. The town still retains a Danish flavor in its architecture and street names; it has one of the oldest synagogues in the New World. The St. Thomas campus of the Univ. of the Virgin Islands is outside the town.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Caribbean Political Geography