Read about the city

The Channel Island of Jersey is an exotic natural gem located geographically close to metropolises such as London and Paris, but at the same time very far away. It is a place with beautiful nature, interesting sights, pure relaxation and idyllic towns.

The capital St Helier has a real urban environment with shopping, café life and cultural offerings, and from here there is not far to the island's many sights. They span neolithic monuments to the many World War II buildings. The war story is told in many places, just as the whole island is like a photo book with beautiful new sights and panoramas around every street corner.

Jersey, along with the rest of the Channel Islands, is also called the Tidal Islands, and that is not without reason. The difference between high and low tide is enormous, and the phenomenon is something that one does not forget since new small islands suddenly become accessible on foot after being isolated in the sea just a short time before.

Other attractions

Maritime Museum, St Helier Jersey

  • Maritime Museum: At the Maritime Museum you can experience Jersey's historical and contemporary use of the surrounding sea. At the museum you can also see The Occupation Tapestry Gallery, which tells about the occupation and liberation during World War II.
  • Liberation Square: Liberation Square is one of St. Heliers central squares and is the link between the central city and the port. Here you can e.g. see the city's old railway station building and nice fountains.

Central Market, St Helier Jersey

  • Central Market: The Central Market is an indoor market where mainly food and flowers are sold. There is a lovely Victorian vibe in the fine cast iron halls that opened in 1882.
  • St. Helier Parish Church: This is the Anglican Parish Church in St. Helier, and it is one of the city's old churches. The oldest parts of the church date from the 900-1000s, but it has later been expanded.

St Thomas Church, St Helier Jersey

  • St. Thomas’ Church: This is the largest church in Jersey, and its grand interior forms a beautiful nave. The church was built in the 1880s for the local French-speaking Catholic congregation.
  • Beresford Fish Market: Beresford Fish Market opened its doors as a market in 1841. Today it is known for its fish shops and small restaurants that have lots of seafood on the menus.

St Helier Town Hall, Jersey

  • St. Helier Town Hall: The town hall of St Helier was built in the French style in 1872. Until after the First World War, the building was home to the St. Helier Fire Brigade. The building has since been home to the city council.
  • Jersey Opera House: Jersey's opera history dates back to 1865, when Henry Cornwall built the Cornwall's Royal Amphitheater and Circus. The theater burned down in 1899, and the present opera house was erected the following year.

South Hill Park, St Helier Jersey

  • South Hill Park: South Hill is a hill with a lovely park from which there is a beautiful view of the harbor of St. Helier as well as an impressive panoramic view along the entire south east coast of Jersey.
  • Fort Regent: Fort Regent is a fortification built in 1806 on Mount Bingham in the center of St.Helier. The facility was completed in 1814 and was used by the military until 1927. Today it is a recreational area.
History overview

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    Jersey's history as an inhabited area goes back a long way, and many places today can see tombs and stonework from Neolithic times.

    Jersey, along with the other Channel Islands, were part of the Roman Empire until the British conquered the island in the 400-500s during their migration to today's British Isles. The 500s was also the time when Saint Helier of present-day Belgium brought Christianity to Jersey, then called Angia, and the island's capital has since been named after him.

    Vikings lived in the region from the 8th century, however, the island's political ties continued toward England until 933, when Duke William I of Normandy conquered the Cotentin Peninsula and the Channel Islands. In 1066, Duke William II won the last Saxon king of England, Harold II Godvinson, and he became king of England. However, he ruled the Channel Islands separately.

    In 1204, the Duchy of Normandy became the fate year. King Philip II of France won the area from King John of England, but at that event the Channel Islands were separated from the continental part of Normandy, and they were granted self-governing status directly under the English crown; a status that continues to apply according to the wording of the Constitution of King John (Johan).

    After 1204, the Channel Islands lay as a potential point of contention between England and France, and its location close to France caused the French king to claim the islands until 1259, when the claim was abandoned with the Paris Treaty. At the same time, the English king gave up claiming the possessions on the French mainland of the former duchy lost in 1204.

    Following the status of the Paris Treaty and the Channel Islands directly under the crown, the king introduced a form of government in which the government was made by a bailiff and a direct representative of the king, the lieutenant governor of the day. At this time, the division into Jersey and Guernsey also happened as separate areas with each their autonomy.

    In the following centuries, however, the Channel Islands were not spared wars. During the Hundred Years War, the islands were attacked several times and also occupied in the 1380s. During the Rose Wars between factions in the English royal house, France occupied the islands 1461-1468 before Sir Richard Harliston demanded them return to England.

    Around the year 1600, the defense of Jersey was expanded to withstand the modern weapons of the time with ever-stronger cannon power. Not least this resulted in the establishment of the castle of Elizabeth Castle off the capital St Helier. The castle was started during Sir Walter Raleigh's reign as Governor 1600-1603.

    In 1646 the later King Karl II visited Jersey, and on February 17, 1649, he returned to the island. On this day he was proclaimed king for the first time after his father's death at Royal Square in St Helier. The order made the Jersey bailiff, George Carteret, who stood on the king's side during the battles between royalists and parliamentarians. As Karl II's thanks for Carteret's support, a colony in America was named New Jersey.

    At that time, Jersey developed significantly in trade and production. Wool and fishing were great in business, including large catches in the seas at Newfoundland. This development led to the establishment of a Chamber of Commerce in 1768.

    In the latter half of the 18th century, war again came to Jersey, which became a piece of England and France's struggle for colonies and dominions in various parts of the world. However, it was the Dutch who attempted an invasion of Jersey in 1779. Two years later, on January 6, 1781, French troops under the command of the Rullecourt briefly captured St Helier after a surprise maneuver. However, the Battle of Jersey was quickly over as English troops under Major Peirson overcame the French on the same day.

    After a time of military focus in the context of the Napoleonic wars, peace came, and it lurked on the many military roads that connected the defense forces and St Helier. Previously isolated agricultural areas could suddenly get rid of goods easily and efficiently, and with exports to England and France it created growth on the island with the mild and favorable climate.

    In the 19th century, an avalanche also occurred against an English-speaking island. Traditionally, the main language had been French, but the presence of English soldiers and an increasing number of English-speaking newcomers changed the balance.

    In the 19th century, a significant part of the economy was shipbuilding, with Jersey being one of the most productive places in the British Isles. Traditional wool and cider production was back in the same period, but with Jersey Jersey a new agricultural success was established. The 19th century also marked the beginning of the development of tourism to Jersey.

    In the 1900s, Jersey became very involved in World War II, with German troops occupying the island in the years 1940-1945. The Channel Islands were the only British territories occupied during the war, and in Jersey the Germans remained until 9 May 1945, despite being cut off from direct support from the mainland following the Allied invasion in 1944. During the war years there was considerable construction activity by the defense works, and it is seen everywhere on the island today.

    In the latter half of the 20th century, tourism increased, and from the 1960s Jersey became known as the home of head offices or branches of many international banks and financial institutions.
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Esplanade, St Helier, Jersey JE1 1BP, Jersey

Top attractions

Old Harbour, St Helier Jersey

  • Old Harbour: Old Harbour in Saint Helier was constructed continuously from the late 18th century. It is today a good place to observe the great difference in the tide that is characteristic of the island. At low tide you can see the boats at the bottom of the harbor. At high tide you can see them in the harbor basin as if there were no tide.
  • Jersey Museum: At this museum you can experience a depiction of Jersey's history from Neolithic times to the present day. The museum building was erected in 1818 as a residence, and here you can e.g. see gold finds from the bronze age and also newer things.

Royal Sqaure, St Helier Jersey

  • Royal Square: Royal Square is St. Heliers central square, and many events have unfolded here over time. Today you can see a statue of King George II at the square, and the island's parliament is also located here, it is called States of Jersey.

Elizabeth Castle, St Helier Jersey

  • Elizabeth Castle: In St. Aubin's Bay off St. Helier you can see the tidal island, l'Islet, and here lies the impressive fortress Elizabeth Castle. The castle was built from 1594 and is now a museum. The museum is interesting and so is the trip to l'Islet in itself.
Trips in the area

Mont Orgueil Castle, Jersey

  • Mont Orgueil Castle: Mont Orgueil Castle is Jersey's mighty, historic fortification that was supposed to protect the island and its inhabitants. The castle was built through the 13th century to the 15th century, and it is today open as an impressive museum.
  • Le Hocq Tower: Le Hocq Tower is a typical example of the defensive towers built around Jersey to counter a possible French invasion in the late 18th century.

La Hougue Bie, Jersey

  • La Hougue Bie: La Hougue Bie is one of Jersey's most interesting historical monuments. It is a mound of boulders, a so-called passage tomb, which is a Neolithic ritual site which was in use around 3500 BC. The history of the place goes back to the Neolithic.
  • Samares Manor & Gardens: Samares Palace is especially known for its beautiful gardens from the 1920s. The place is considered with its many gardens and various plants to belong among the most beautiful in Jersey.
  • Jersey War Tunnels: The Ho8 tunnel complex (Höhlgangsanlage 8) is also known as the Jersey War Tunnels. It was built by the Germans 1941-1945 as a colossal facility dug into the rocks of Jersey.

Grosnez Castle, Jersey

  • Grosnez Castle: On the northwest corner of Jersey, the castle of Grosnez was built around 1330 by order of Sir John des Roches. It was built 60 meters / 200 feet above sea level and with water on three sides.
  • La Corbière Lighthouse: The La Corbière lighthouse stands picturesquely on top of rugged cliffs off the southwesternmost point of Jersey. It was commissioned in 1874 and was the first lighthouse built in reinforced concrete in the British Isles.

States of Guernsey, St Peter Port

  • Guernsey: The island of Guernsey is located northwest of Jersey, and it offers countless attractions in both the capital St. Peter Port and around on the exciting island. Like Jersey, Guernsey is a British crown dependency and therefore it is like coming to a country for itself.
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  • de Gruchy, 50-52 King Street, Saint Helier,
  • Liberty Wharf Shopping Center, Albert House, La Route De La Liberation, Saint Helier,
  • Voisins, 26-32 King Street,
  • Shopping streets: King Street, Queen Street
With kids
Practical info