• Mariella R

Martinique!

Have you ever wondered what life is like in a francophone country? In this series, you will explore a new location every week. Today, we'll take a look at Martinique.


Bonjour

That's hello in Martinique.


Beautiful view of a town in Martinique

Martinique is a rugged Caribbean island that’s part of the Lesser Antilles. An overseas region of France, its culture reflects a distinctive blend of French and West Indian influences. Its largest town, Fort-de-France, features steep hills, narrow streets and La Savane, a garden bordered by shops and cafes. In the garden is a statue of island native Joséphine de Beauharnais, first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. From Wikipedia.


Martinique was discovered by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage in 1502. The island was inhabited by Indigenous Indians who called the Martinique “the island of flowers”. During the course of the 17th century Martinique was colonized by the “Compagnie des Iles d’Amerique”. 31st October 1636, King Louis the 13th signed a decree authorizing the use of slaves in the French Antilles. Thus began an intense period of colonization which would eventually bring the French into conflict with the Caribbean natives. Sugar Cane plantations were built further and further into the natives territory until the natives were eradicated in 1660. The English Empire occupied the island for almost the entire period from 1794 to 1815 during which time the French Revolution occurred. The island was officially returned to the French in 1845, when after the Napoleonic War, the French Empire entered a period of relative stability. In 1848 Victor Schoelcher, French Minister for foreign territories, abolished slavery in the French Antilles, convincing the government to grant a Proclamation of Emancipation. In 1946 Martinique was granted the status of official French territory and has been considered a French Region since 1982. From Martinica Online.


Fast facts

Capital: Fort-de-France

Population: 376,480

Currency: Euro

Official language: French

Area: 1,128 square kilometres


Fun facts

  • Martinique boasts a wide range of wildlife, including manatees, bats, snakes, the Volcano Frog (which happens to be endemic to Martinique), around 200 species of bird and around 225 species of reef fish.

  • A total of 4 queens who have ruled France, Holland and Turkey, have all been born in Martinique.

  • Martinique has a small version of the Parisien Sacré-Coeur. It is called the Balata church.

  • There are only two seasons in Martinique, the dry season (~25 degrees celsius) and the humid season (~28 degrees celsius).

  • Most of Martinique is considered as a natural park.

  • The island has many black sand beaches with volcanic origins.

From FactCity and Discover Walks.


A black sand beach in Martinique

Doesn't this make you want to visit Martinique?!

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