Martinique: Testimonies of the Past

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The Slave Memorial at Anse Cafard. (Photo Credit: Luc Oliver.)
The Slave Memorial at Anse Cafard. (Photo Credit: Luc Oliver.)

 

Martinique is an overseas region of France that stirs the passions with distinctive culinary delights, awe-inspiring natural beauty, a rich cultural history, warm smiles, and much more. Napoleon’s bride, Empress Josephine, was born and raised in Martinique. The majestic Mount Pelee Volcano and Saint-Pierre, the “Pompeii of the Caribbean,” are also found here, along with a dynamic art scene and a wide array of local products.

Martinique, Flower of The Caribbean
Martinique is the perfect place to relax and have plenty of fun. It is also a land of rich history and culture. To experience the island’s historical background, the Slave Memorial at Anse Cafard is an absolute must-see for any visitor. This open-air memorial is accessible 24/7. Twenty white colossal statues, facing the famous Diamond Rock, commemorate the slave ship that sank there in 1830 with sailors and slaves on board. With its ocean backdrop, it’s one of the most impressive and moving memorials in the Caribbean.

Another must-see is the Slave Savannah in Trois-Ilets. This replica of a maroon village gives insight into the life of escaped slaves, also called Nèg Mawon (maroons). The Slave Savannah is the third most-visited place in Martinique. It also features a mesmerizing medicinal garden.

Saint-Pierre, City of Art and History
The Mount Pelee Volcano destroyed Saint-Pierre, the first capital city of Martinique, in 1902. The remaining charred building facades, including a church and an 18th century theater, hint at the sophistication of Saint-Pierre, also known as “the Paris of the Caribbean,” before disaster struck. Unlike Pompeii, however, Saint-Pierre still has inhabitants, Martinicans, who have moved in amid the ruins. The city boasts a market, a museum, and several historical sites, intertwined with Caribbean contemporary art. Signs for English-speaking visitors and guided tours through both private companies and the local tourist office make the discovery of this moving city as easy as 1,2,3.