Visit the Baron Bliss Lighthouse in Belize City
Besides being an architectural masterpiece and an iconic landmark in the historic downtown area of Belize City, the Baron Bliss Lighthouse should be included in any visitor’s itinerary because of its unusual history.
In early 1926, a wealthy, eccentric, and paraplegic member of the British nobility known as the fourth Baron Bliss sailed his yacht into Belizean waters. Although he never set foot on the Belizean mainland, Baron Bliss interacted with local fishermen and became enchanted by their culture, history, and kindness.
Dying just two months later on March 9, 1926, Bliss donated his fortune to Belize in the form of a large charitable trust worth two million pounds. In 2018, the trust is still active, and the trust has financed several schools across the country as well as arts centers, roads, and theaters. In his bequest, Baron Bliss also included the detailed designs for a lighthouse to be built to stand guard over his remains.
March 9 is now a public holiday in Belize that includes a sailing regatta that is held in his honor. The holiday was formerly known as Baron Bliss Day but is now known as National Heroes and Benefactors Day in order to be more inclusive of all of the people who have contributed to Belize’s success as a nation.