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.