The town was founded by Frederick Moth after he was made governor of St. Croix in 1733. Departing from St. Thomas, Capt. Moth’s party had cleared a space for Fort Christianswærn by 5 September. In a ceremony next to this fort on 8 Jan. 1734, the French formally handed over the island to the Danes in the form of the Danish West India and Guinea Company. The island was to be allotted 300 plantations, 215 for sugar and the remainder for cotton. The plantations surveyed were 3000 feet by 2000 feet. In addition, the company established a sugar refinery and distillery. The fort was completed by 1740. The 1742 census listed 120 sugar plantations, 122 cotton plantations, and 1,906 slaves compared to about 300 Englishmen and 60 Danes. By 1743, the island had a hospital and in 1745, the number of slaves had increased to 2878. By 1754, the town included 83 “white inhabitants”, “each of whom owned from a single slave to sixty-six of them,” according to Westergaard. Total slaves on the island had increased to 7566.
It is a former capital of the Danish West Indies and home to the Christiansted National Historic Site. Christiansted has preserved the 18th-century Danish-style buildings constructed by Africanslaves. Solid stone buildings in pastel colors with bright red tile roofs line the cobblestone sidewalks, adding a touch of 18th-century European architectural style. Because the town was constructed by African slaves, there are many African influences in Christiansted’s design as well, making it one of the few “African-Danish” towns in the world. The town’s symmetry, with streets running at right angles to the waterfront, makes it popular for walking tours. The commercial area centers on King and Company streets, adjacent to the Christiansted National Historic Site. The residential area, including portions that were originally settlements for free blacks, extends inland and uphill from the commercial area. The botanist Julius von Rohr started a botanic garden in the 18th century and produced a number of landscapes of the island.
The town has small hotels and many restaurants. Several scuba shops operate in the town, as the wharf has easy access to many diving attractions on the north side of the island. A small point of interest is Protestant Cay, a cay near Christiansted.