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city (1985 est. pop. 75,000), capital and largest city of Guyana, on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Demerara River. It was known as Stabroek when the Dutch controlled the region and was renamed Georgetown in 1812, after the British had occupied the colony during the Napoleonic Wars. The city has wide, tree-lined streets, many with canals reminiscent of the Dutch period. The tropical botanical gardens are among the finest in the world, and the markets operated by East Indians are transplants of Asian culture. Georgetown has a hot and humid climate partially relieved by year-round ocean winds. Below sea level at high tide, the city is protected by a mole. Sugar (the city shipped the prized Demerara sugar), timber, balata, bauxite, gold, and diamonds are brought to Georgetown by river and rail and are exported. Georgetown is the seat of the Caribbean Community's secretariat and the Univ. of Guyana; St. George's Cathedral is a fine example of Victorian wooden architecture.


1 Town (1990 pop. 11,414), Scott co., N central Ky., in the bluegrass country; settled 1776, inc. 1790. In a rich agricultural, dairying, and livestock area, Georgetown also has light manufacturing. A huge auto assembly plant is there.

2 City (1990 pop. 9,517), seat of Georgetown co., E S.C., on the Sampit River at its entrance into Winyah Bay, c.15 mi (24 km) from the ocean; inc. 1805. It is a historic port of entry and shipping center. Wire, lumber, and paper are produced, and there is textile printing. Tourism is also a significant industry. The city was founded c.1734 as a shipping point for the plentiful rice and indigo products garnered from nearby plantations. Deepwater facilities were later added to the port. The Church of Prince George dates from the 1740s.

3 Residential section (since 1895) of Washington, D.C., on the Potomac River near the confluence of Rock Creek; settled c.1665, inc. 1789. It was part of the land granted by Maryland in 1790 to the federal government for a national capital; in 1878 it became part of Washington, D.C. Its picturesque old houses and colonial atmosphere lend it charm. Georgetown Univ., with its renowned foreign service school, is there.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the capital and principal economic center of Guyana. Georgetown is located on the Atlantic coast near the mouth of the Demerara River. The climate is subequatorial and damp. The average temperature in January is 26°C and in September, 28°C. The average annual precipitation is 2,230 mm. Population, 195,000 (1970, including suburbs).

Georgetown was founded by Dutch settlers in the late 18th century under the name Tabrok (or Stabroek). In 1784, it became the center of the Dutch colony in South America. In the early 19th century, the city passed into the possession of the English, who renamed it Georgetown in 1812. The governor’s residence was located there, and in 1831 it became the capital of British Guiana. Beginning in the 1930’s, workers’ strikes occurred in Georgetown. By the late 1940’s, the struggle against colonial rule had intensified. The most important demonstrations took place in February 1962, April 1963, and the summer of 1964. Since May 1966, Georgetown has been the capital of the independent state of Guyana.

Georgetown is the chief port of the country: exports (about 2.5 million tons a year) include bauxite, lumber, sugar, and rum; imports (about 300,000 tons a year) include grain and manufactured goods. Flour, sugar, margarine, cigarettes, beer, and soap are produced in the city. Several sawmills are located there. Georgetown has a railroad station, as well as an airport of international importance (Timehri, located 48 km from the city).

The center of Georgetown is laid out on a rectangular block pattern with flat, broad tree-lined streets. The government buildings and the National Assembly (1829-34), the court (1880’s), the town hall (1887-89) are in this section of the city, as well as the wooden Anglican cathedral (1889-92) and the Catholic cathedral made of reinforced concrete (after 1913). In the mid-20th century, reinforced-concrete buildings were constructed in the business and commercial quarters, but one-story wooden houses built on high brick supports predominate. Georgetown is the site of the university, the public library, and the Guyana Museum, as well as the Guild Theater and the Botanical Garden.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. the capital and chief port of Guyana, at the mouth of the Demerara River: became capital of the Dutch colonies of Essequibo and Demerara in 1784; seat of the University of Guyana. Pop.: 237 000 (2005 est.)
2. the capital of the Cayman Islands: a port on Grand Cayman Island. Pop.: 20 626 (1999)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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