WELCOME TO

MARTINIQUE

“Fleur des Caraibes”

WELCOME TO

MARTINIQUE

“Fleur des Caraibes”

  • 27.4
    °C
    15
    km/h
    0.0
    mm

A fond welcome to locals and visitors!

Each and every visit to the Caribbean is like no other. There is always something new to learn, places to go or things to do. Sculpted by nature, the islands are ever-changing and evolving. With so many islands to choose from it is never easy to decide on where to stop.
We want to introduce you to our beautifully unique islands. Make sure you stay a while, take your time! In the Caribbean there’s no rush, let’s just ‘go with the flow’.
The more you learn, the more you will want to know, so relax and discover

the wonderful island of Martinique

MARTINIQUE

FORT DE FRANCE, THE CAPITAL

Fort-de-France, the capital of Martinique, is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the French West Indies. The capital has changed quite a lot over the past decade and has successfully transformed into a major cruise-ship destination. The vibrant street life and vast choice of eateries and places to grab a drink has increased the cities popularity. Also the addition of some modern architecture as well as the preservation of Fort-St-Louis, the oldest building in the town, make the city an interesting and worthwhile place to visit.

FORT DE FRANCE, THE CAPITAL

MARTINIQUE

Fort-de-France, the capital of Martinique, is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the French West Indies. The capital has changed quite a lot over the past decade and has successfully transformed into a major cruise-ship destination. The vibrant street life and vast choice of eateries and places to grab a drink has increased the cities popularity. Also the addition of some modern architecture as well as the preservation of Fort-St-Louis, the oldest building in the town, make the city an interesting and worthwhile place to visit.

MARTINIQUE MUST STOPS:

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BALATA BOTANICAL GARDEN
Once upon the year 1982, Jean-Philippe Thoze, horticulturist, landscape designer and poet comes back on the trail of his childhood, in the Creole house of his grandparents. From then was born his passion for botanicals which would lead him worldwide.
The Garden built around this typical creole house is the result of a perfect alchemy between a «back-to-childhood» experience and a one-of-a-kind artist.

The Garden is animated by the creativeness and visions of his creator who has been caring and healing the plants for more than 50 years and now shares this dream with everyone who walks through this magic world.

Official Website: www.jardindebalata.fr

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LES SALINES
On an island full of magnificent beaches, Les Salines is known to be one of the most beautiful and hence most popular. Just a short distance south of Sainte-Anne, is this one-kilometre stretch of powdery white sand, lined with coconut palm trees. The name stems from the nearby salt pond. Offering mostly calm waters, the popular beach is actually one of the rare quieter beaches on the island, especially during the week. 
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MOUNT PELEE
Mount Pelée is a volcano at the northern end of Martinique. The volcano is currently in a quiescent state, which means it is not active, but is registering seismic activity. It is possible to hike to the summit of the volcano and on clear days you can enjoy incredible views of the surrounding mountains and the neighbouring island of Dominica. Mount Pelée producing a devasting eruption on 8th May 1902 and destroyed the nearby city of Saint-Pierre. There was also a minor eruption in 1929. The volcano now lies quiet and closely monitored. As the highest point in Martinique, It offers nature enthusiasts some magnificent hike trails and breath taking views.
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DIAMOND ROCK
A volcanic remnant, approximately three kilometres off the south coast of Martinique, the Diamond Rock has an interesting ‘claim to fame’. During the Napoleonic Wars, it was occupied by British sailors, who participated in the blockade of Martinique in 1804. Lying in a very strategic position, not only did the men take up station on the rock, they also registered the rock as a ship, the HMS Diamond Rock. After over a year of unsuccessful attacks, the French eventually managed to strategically overpower the sailors and claim back the rock. Nowadays the rock is one of Martinique’s best dive sites as below water lie a deep triangular cave. The cave is said to contain prolific quantities of Marine wildlife. It is said that the Diamond Rock is still considered a real warship by the British and that their boats greet when passing. 

History of Martinique

MARTINIQUEThe main inhabitants of the island was the Caribs, who called the island Madinina meaning ‘Island of flowers’.   However Christopher Columbus spotted the island in 1502 and called it Martinique.  The island was ignored by the Spanish but the French began to colonise Martinique in 1635.  The Caribs were eventually eradicated by the French, who also brought slavery to the island.   The slaves were mostly used as sugar plantation workers.  In the 18th century the sugar exports made the island one of France’s most valuable colonies.  Even after slavery was abolished in 1848, sugar continued to hold a dominant position in the economy.

The island went through a brief period under British control from 1794 to 1815, however the island was returned to the French in 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars.  In 1848, Schoelcher, who was the French cabinet minister responsible for overseas possessions, managed to convince the provisional government to sign the Emancipation Proclamation.  This brought an end to slavery in the French West Indies.  At the time, this made Schoelcher very unpopular with the white aristocracy, however Shoelcher is now thought of as one of Martinique’s heroes. 

On 8th May 1902, Mount Pelée violently erupted, destroying the capital city of St.Pierre and claiming approximately 30,000 lives.  Up until then St Pierre had been regarded as the most cultured city in the French West Indies, however following the disaster the capital was moved permanently to Fort-de-France, and although St. Pierre was rebuilt it has never been the same.

In 1946 Martinique became an Overseas Department of France, with a status similar to those of metropolitan departments. In 1974 it was further assimilated into the political fold as a Department of France.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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RADIO
(the unofficial flag of Martinique)

This flag features a white cross like St George’s cross on a blue background filled in with a white snake in each quarter. The flag dates from an edict issued 4th August 1766, specifying that vessels of the French Colony of Martinique and Saint Lucia should fly a version of the French ensign, which at the time was a white cross on a blue field, with L-shaped (for ‘’Lucia’’) snakes in each quarter of the cross. The flag floats next to the French flag on some public buildings of the island such as the prefecture, and the police station of Fort-de-France. The snakes are fer-de-lance vipers native to Martinique.

The tricolour of France is used in Martinique for official events as the country is an overseas region of France. The country often hoists the tricolour of France along with its unofficial flag. 

BAHAMAS
Martinique’s coat of arms uses the same dark blue and white colour scheme as the island’s flag. The shield reads ‘La collectivité au service du pays’

Martinique is part of the French overseas territory and so they use the same national anthem as France.

La Marseillaise

1er couplet 

Allons enfants de la patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L’etendard sanglant est levé (bis)
Entendez vous dans les campagnes,
Mugir ces féroces soldats ?
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Egorger nos fils, nos compagnes 

Refrain 

Aux armes, citoyens
Formez vos bataillons
Marchons Marchons
Qu’un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons 

2ème couplet 

Que veut cette horde d’esclaves,
de traitres, de rois conjures ?
Pour qui ces ignobles entraves,
Ces fers des longtemps preparés ? (bis)
Français pour nous, ah Quel outrage
Quels transports il doit exciter
C’est nous qu’on ose méditer
De rendre à l’antique esclavage 

3ème couplet 

Quoi Ces cohortes étrangères
Feraient la loi dans nos foyers
Quoi Ces phalanges mercenaires
Terrasseraient nos fiers guerriers (bis)
Grand Dieu ! Par des mains enchainées
Nos fronts sous le joug ploiraient
De vils despotes deviendraient
Les maîtres de nos destinées 

4ème couplet 

Tremblez tyrans ! Et vous, perfides,
L’opprobre de tous les partis,
Tremblez Vos projets parricides
Vont enfin recevoir leur prix (bis)
Tout est soldat pour vous combattre.
S’ils tombent, nos jeunes heros,
La France en produit de nouveaux,
Contre vous tout prêts à se battre 

5ème couplet 

Français, en guerriers magnanimes,
Portez ou retenez vos coups
Epargnez ces tristes victimes,
A regret s’armant contre nous. (bis)
Mais ces despotes sanguinaires,
Mais ces complices de Boulle,
Tous ces tigres qui, sans pitié,
Déchirent le sein de leur mère !… 

6ème couplet 

Amour sacré de la patrie,
Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs
Liberté, Liberté chérie,
Combats avec tes défenseurs (bis)
Sous nos drapeaux, que la victoire
Accoure à tes males accents
Que tes ennemis expirants
Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire 

7ème couplet 

Nous entrerons dans la carrière
Quand nos aînés n’y seront plus;
Nous y trouverons leur poussière
Et la trace de leurs vertus. (bis)
Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre
Que de partager leur cercueil,
Nous aurons le sublime orgueil
De les venger ou de les suivre. 

 

English Translation

“La Marseillaise”

1-
Arise children of the fatherland,
The day of glory has arrived !
Against us tyranny’s
Bloody standard is raised (repeat)
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers,
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts.

CHORUS :

To arms citizens !
Form you battalions !
March, march !
Let impure blood
Water our furrows !

2-
What do they want this horde of slaves,
Of traitors and conspiratorial kings ?
For whom these vile chains,
These long-prepared irons ? (repeat)
Frenchmen, for us, ah ! What outrage
What methods must be taken ?
It is we they dare plan
To return to the old slavery !

(CHORUS)

3-
What ! These foreign cohorts !
They would make laws in our courts !
What ! These mercenary phalanxes
Would cut down our warrior sons (repeat)
Good Lord ! By chained hands
Our brow would yield under the yoke
The vile despots would have themselves be
The masters of destiny.

(CHORUS)

4-
Tremble tyrants and traitors,
The shame of all good men,
Tremble ! Your parricidal schemes
Will receive their just reward (repeat)
Against you we are all soldiers.
If they fall, our young heros,
France will bear new ones,
Ready to join the fight against you.

(CHORUS)

5-
Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors,
Bear or hold back your blows
Spare these sad victims,
Who with regret are taking up arms against us (repeat)
But not these bloody despots,
These accomplices of Boulle,
All these tigers who pitilessly,
Are ripping open their mothers’ breasts !…

(CHORUS)

6-
Sacred Love for the Fatherland,
Lead and support our avenging arms
Liberty, cherished liberty,
Join the struggle with your defenders (repeat)
Under our flags, let victory
hasten to you virile (or manly) force
So that in death your enemies
See your triumph and our glory !

(CHORUS)

7-
We shall enter into the pit
When our elders will no longer be there ;
There we shall find their ashes
And the mark of their virtues (repeat)
We are much less jealous of surviving them
Than of sharing their coffins,
We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or joining them.

(CHORUS)

BASIC INFO:

  • TIME ZONE:

    Atlantic Standard Time (AST)

  • CAPITAL CITY

    Fort-de-France

  • LANGUAGE

    French

  • INDEPENDENCE

    None – overseas department of France

  • ETHNIC GROUPS

    African and African-white-Indian mixture 90%, white 5%, Indian Tamil or East Indian, Chinese less than 5%

  • POPULATION

    412,305 (2012 est.)

  • NATIONAL DISH

    Grilled Snapper with Creole Sauce

    Check out the recipe

  • CURRENCY

    Euro

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Franck Robine

Prefect
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Alfred Marie Jeanne

President of the Executive Council

Prefects

PIERRE TROUILLÉ

TOOK OFFICE: 18/07/1947 – LEFT OFFICE: 27/07/1950

CHRISTIAN LAIGRET

TOOK OFFICE: 25/08/1950 – LEFT OFFICE: 01/11/1954

GASTON VILLÉGER

TOOK OFFICE: 01/11/1954 – LEFT OFFICE: 16/06/1957

JACQUES BOISSIER

TOOK OFFICE: 01/08/1957 – LEFT OFFICE: 01/01/1960

JEAN PARSI

TOOK OFFICE: 01/01/1960 – LEFT OFFICE: 25/04/1961

MICHEL GROLLEMUND

TOOK OFFICE: 25/04/1961 – LEFT OFFICE: 08/11/1963

RAPHAËL PETIT

TOOK OFFICE: 21/11/1963 – LEFT OFFICE: 16/09/1966

PIERRE LAMBERTIN

TOOK OFFICE: 16/09/1966 – LEFT OFFICE: 01/08/1967

JEAN DELIAU

TOOK OFFICE: 07/08/1967 – LEFT OFFICE: 20/06/1969

PIERRE BÉZIAU

TOOK OFFICE: 01/09/1969 – LEFT OFFICE: 15/06/1970

JEAN TERRADE

TOOK OFFICE: 01/07/1970 – LEFT OFFICE: 01/07/1973

CHRISTIAN ORSETTI

TOOK OFFICE: 01/07/1973 – LEFT OFFICE: 15/11/1975

PAUL NOIROT-COSSON

TOOK OFFICE: 15/11/1975 – LEFT OFFICE: 20/05/1978

RAYMOND HEIM

TOOK OFFICE: 20/05/1978 – LEFT OFFICE: 03/05/1979

MARCEL JULIA

TOOK OFFICE: 03/05/1979 – LEFT OFFICE: 27/07/1981

JEAN CHEVANCE

TOOK OFFICE: 27/07/1981 – LEFT OFFICE: 10/05/1982

JEAN JOUANDET

TOOK OFFICE: 24/02/1988 – LEFT OFFICE: 12/04/1989

JEAN-CLAUDE ROURE

TOOK OFFICE: 12/04/1989 – LEFT OFFICE: 04/09/1991

MICHEL MORIN

TOOK OFFICE: 04/09/1991 – LEFT OFFICE: 06/01/1995

JEAN-FRANÇOIS CORDET

TOOK OFFICE: 06/01/1995 – LEFT OFFICE: 24/08/1998

DOMINIQUE BELLION

TOOK OFFICE: 31/08/1998 – LEFT OFFICE: 21/06/2000

MICHEL CADOT

TOOK OFFICE: 24/07/2000 – LEFT OFFICE: 28/03/2003

TOOK OFFICE: 28/03/2003 – LEFT OFFICE: 09/02/2004

YVES DASSONVILLE

TOOK OFFICE: 09/02/2004 – LEFT OFFICE: 20/06/2007

PATRICE LATRON

TOOK OFFICE: 20/06/2007 – LEFT OFFICE: 02/08/2007

ANGE MANCINI

TOOK OFFICE: 02/08/2007 – INCUMBENT

LINK DIRECTORY:

A list of top sites in a variety of categories

Contributors

The team at caribbean1st.com would like to thank all contributors. The amazing websites we found that hold a wealth of resources and the individuals who have taken time to send us information and great pictures.

Our aim is to offer a complete and useful list of information to discover each island and their people. Your contribution would be much appreciated. Please feel free to send us any information that you would like us to feature in this website and we will do our best to keep every page up to date.