This article needs additional citations for verification .(June 2009)
A view from the ship arriving from Les Trois-Îlets
Location of the commune (in red) within Martinique
|Overseas region and department||Martinique|
|Intercommunality||CA Centre de la Martinique|
|• Mayor (2020–2026)||Didier Laguerre (PPM)|
|44.21 km2 (17.07 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,800/km2 (4,600/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC−04:00 (AST)|
97209 /97200 and 97234 (Quartier de Balata)
|Elevation||0–1,070 m (0–3,510 ft)|
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
Fort-de-France ( // , US also // , French: [fɔʁ də fʁɑ̃s] ( listen ); Martinican Creole : Fodfwans) is a commune and the capital city of Martinique, an overseas department and region of France located in the Caribbean. It is also one of the major cities in the Caribbean.[ citation needed ]
In 1638, Jacques Dyel du Parquet (1606–1658), nephew of Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc and first governor of Martinique, decided to have Fort Saint Louis built to protect the city against enemy attacks. The fort was soon destroyed, and rebuilt in 1669, when Louis XIV appointed the Marquis of Baas as governor general. Under his orders and those of his successors, particularly the Count of Blénac, the fort was built with a Vauban design.
Originally named Fort-Royal, the administrative capital of Martinique was over-shadowed by Saint-Pierre, the oldest city in the island, which was renowned for its commercial and cultural vibrancy as "The Paris of the Caribbean".
The name of Fort-Royal was changed to a short-lived "Fort-La-Republique" during the French Revolution, and finally settled as Fort-de-France sometime in the 19th century. The old name of Fort-Royal is still used today familiarly in its Creole language form of "Foyal", with the inhabitants of the city being "Foyalais".
The city was captured by a British expedition which captured Martinique in 1762, but the island was returned to French control in the Treaty of Paris.In 1839, the city was struck by a minor earthquake, and in 1890 saw an outbreak of fire which razed part of the city. By the turn of the 20th century, however, Fort-de-France became economically important after the volcanic eruption of Mount Pelée destroyed the town of Saint-Pierre in 1902.
Until 1918, when its commercial growth began, Fort-de-France had an inadequate water supply, was partly surrounded by swamps, and was notorious for yellow fever. Now the swamps are drained to make room for extensive suburbs.
Fort-de-France, also known as the Fort of France, lies on Martinique's west coast at the northern entrance to the large Fort-de-France Bay, at the mouth of the Madame River. The city occupies a narrow plain between the hills and the sea but is accessible by road from all parts of the island.
Fort-de-France has a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen Af), characterised by very warm to hot and humid weather year-round. The wettest months are from July to November when hurricanes are a frequent threat, although substantial rainfall occurs in all months. The hottest month on average is September, and the coldest month on average is February.
|Climate data for Fort-de-France (1981–2010 averages, extremes 1932–present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||31.5|
|Average high °C (°F)||27.5|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||24.7|
|Average low °C (°F)||21.9|
|Record low °C (°F)||17.8|
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||119.5|
|Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)||18.93||13.60||12.77||11.50||12.70||16.43||20.00||19.57||17.90||18.17||19.00||17.60||198.17|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||203.6||198.5||223.8||211.3||208.1||191.0||200.7||224.5||206.1||182.9||184.4||201.8||2,436.8|
|Source: Météo France|
|Source: SPLAF and INSEE (1967-2017)|
Fort Saint Louis in Fort-de-France is a French naval base, as is Dégrad des Cannes (French Guiana).
As of the 27th June 2021, the Mayor of Fort de France is Serge Letchimy replacing Alfred Marie-Jeanne as the new mayor of the capitol. With a participation rate of little over 44% the Letchimy Party Alians Matinik received 37,72 of the votes, whereas Marie Jeanna who came in a close second with Gran Sanblé Pou Matinik acquired 35,27% of the votes. The commune of Fort-de-France makes up Martinique's 3rd constituency for the National Assembly.
In addition to Fort Saint Louis, there are three other forts:
Other sites of interest include:
A statue commemorating Martinique-born Empress Josephine, the wife of Napoleon, is in the gardens of La Savane. It was vandalized in the 1990s, presumably by individuals who blamed her for supporting the reestablishment of slavery on the island. They removed the head and splashed the body with red paint.
Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport is located in a suburb outside Fort-de-France and is accessible via the A1 autoroute.
Martinique is an island and an overseas department/region and single territorial collectivity of France. An integral part of the French Republic, Martinique is located in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea. It has a land area of 1,128 square kilometres (436 sq mi) and a population of 376,480 inhabitants as of January 2016. One of the Windward Islands, it is directly north of Saint Lucia, northwest of Barbados and south of Dominica. Martinique is also an Outermost Region (OMR) of the European Union and a special territory of the European Union; the currency in use is the euro. Virtually the entire population speaks both French and Martinican Creole.
St. George's is the capital of Grenada. The town is surrounded by a hillside of an old volcano crater and is on a horseshoe-shaped harbour.
This is a page on the history of the island of Martinique.
The term French West Indies or French Antilles refers to the eight territories currently under French sovereignty in the Antilles islands of the Caribbean:
Pointe-à-Pitre is the largest city of Guadeloupe, an overseas region and department of France located in the Lesser Antilles, of which it is a sous-préfecture, being the seat of the Arrondissement of Pointe-à-Pitre.
Cayenne is the capital city of French Guiana, an overseas region and department of France located in South America. The city stands on a former island at the mouth of the Cayenne River on the Atlantic coast. The city's motto is "fert aurum industria", which means "work brings wealth".
Antillean Creole is a French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles. Its grammar and vocabulary include elements of Carib, English, and African languages.
The culture of Dominica is formed by the inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Dominica. Dominica is home to a wide range of people. Although it was historically occupied by several native tribes, the Taíno and Island Caribs (Kalinago) tribes remained by the time European settlers reached the island. "Massacre" is a name of a river dedicated to the murders of the native villagers by French and British settlers, because the river ran red with blood for days. Each claimed the island and imported slaves from Africa. The remaining Caribs now live on a 3,700-acre (15 km2) Carib Territory on the east coast of the island. They elect their own chief.
Pierre Belain, sieur d'Esnambuc was a French trader and adventurer in the Caribbean, who established the first permanent French colony, Saint-Pierre, on the island of Martinique in 1635.
Saint-Pierre is a town and commune of France's Caribbean overseas department of Martinique, founded in 1635 by Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc. Before the total destruction of Saint-Pierre by a volcanic eruption in 1902, it was the most important city of Martinique culturally and economically, being known as "the Paris of the Caribbean". While Fort-de-France was the official administrative capital, Saint-Pierre was the cultural capital of Martinique. After the disaster, Fort-de-France grew in economic importance.
La Savane is a 12½ acre park located on the Fort-de-France Bay in Martinique. It was formerly known as Jardin du Roi and its first purpose is said to have been to harbor scientific experiments on plants that were new to the colony at that time.
The Îles des Saintes, also known as Les Saintes is a group of small islands in the archipelago of Guadeloupe, an overseas department of France. It is part of the Canton of Trois-Rivières and is divided into two communes: Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas. It is in the arrondissement of Basse-Terre and also in Guadeloupe's 4th constituency.
Le Lamentin is a city and town, located in the French overseas department and region of Martinique. With its 62,32 km2, it is the town with the largest area of Martinique. Le Lamentin, with near to 40 000 inhabitants, is the second most populated town of Martinique, after Fort-de-France. It is also the first industrial town and the heart of the island's economy.
St. Louis Cathedral is a Catholic cathedral located in Martinique, an overseas department of France. It was built in the late 19th-century in the Romanesque Revival style and serves as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Fort-de-France. The church is situated in the downtown area of the capital Fort-de-France, at the intersection of rue Victor Schœlcher and rue Blénac.
As an overseas départment of France, Martinique's culture is French and Caribbean. Its former capital, Saint-Pierre, was often referred to as the Paris of the Lesser Antilles. Following French custom, many businesses close at midday, then reopen later in the afternoon. The official language is French, although many Martinicans speak a Creole patois. Based in French, Martinique's Creole also incorporates elements of English, Spanish, Portuguese, and African languages. Originally passed down through oral storytelling traditions, it continues to be used more often in speech than in writing.
Terre-de-Haut Island is the easternmost island in the Îles des Saintes, part of the archipelago of Guadeloupe. Like name of neighboring Terre-de-Bas, name Terre-de-Haut comes from the maritime vocabulary, which called the islands exposed to the "highland" winds and those protected from the wind, "lowlands".
Fort Saint Louis is a seaside fortress in Fort-de-France, Martinique. The present-day fort has evolved from earlier strongholds that were erected on the site as early as 1638, and has been known in previous incarnations as Fort Royal and Fort de la Republique. The modern-day Fort Saint Louis is both an active naval base and a listed historic site of France. There are daily tours of the fort, though the portion that is still a naval base is off-limits.
Fort Desaix is a Vauban fort and one of four forts that protect Fort-de-France, the capital of Martinique. The fort was built from 1768 to 1772 and sits on a hill, Morne Garnier, overlooking what was then Fort Royal. Fort Desaix was built in response to the successful British attack on Fort Royal in 1762 and was intended to prevent any future attacker from using Morne Garnier to site cannon that could then bombard Fort Royal from above.
Articles related to the French overseas department of Martinique include:
The Invasion of Martinique of 1809 was a successful British amphibious operation against the French West Indian island of Martinique that took place between 30 January and 24 February 1809 during the West Indies Campaign 1804–1810 of the Napoleonic Wars. Martinique, like nearby Guadeloupe, was a major threat to British trade in the Caribbean, providing a sheltered base from which privateers and French Navy warships could raid British shipping and disrupt the trade routes that maintained the British economy. The islands also provided a focus for larger scale French operations in the region and in the autumn of 1808, following the Spanish alliance with Britain, the Admiralty decided to order a British squadron to neutralise the threat, beginning with Martinique.
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