WELCOME TO

ST. BARTHELEMY

“Ever Conscious of God We Aspire, Build and Advance as One People”

WELCOME TO

ST. BARTHELEMY

“Ever Conscious of God We Aspire, Build and Advance as One People”

  • 27.1
    °C
    11
    km/h
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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 St. Barthelemy

ST. BARTHELEMY

GUSTAVIA, THE CAPITAL

Gustavia is the main town and capital of the island of St. Barthelemy. Originally called Le Carénage, it was renamed in honour of King Gustav III of Sweden. Its sister city is Piteå, located in Norrbotten, Sweden. Gustavia remains a reflection of the Swedish period.

GUSTAVIA, THE CAPITAL

ST. BARTHELEMY

Gustavia is the main town and capital of the island of St. Barthelemy. Originally called Le Carénage, it was renamed in honour of King Gustav III of Sweden. Its sister city is Piteå, located in Norrbotten, Sweden. Gustavia remains a reflection of the Swedish period.

A fortress on Mount Fortune (852 feet [260 metres]) overlooks the town. There is a botanical station, and Vigie Beach and an airport are nearby.

ST. BARTHELEMY MUST STOPS:

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COLOMBIER BEACH
This beach is still called “Rockefeller’s Beach”, because, for many years, David Rockefeller owned the property that surrounds it. It is a popular Sunday picnic spot for local folk, who traditionally camp out for the night during Easter weekend. A wonderfully isolated beach that is often hailed as the jewel of St. Barthelemy. The walk from the main road to the beach is almost as impressive as the beach itself, a path that weaves through cacti groves over rocky cliffs. At the end of the trail is Columbier Beach, a turquoise-blue bay with powdered coral, white sand.
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FORT GUSTAVE
Raised way back in the early 18th century by St Bart’s onetime Swedish masters, this historic fort complex not only offers a glimpse at the island’s colonial past, but also some of the most breath-taking panoramas over the harbour of Gustavia. Rich with photo opportunities, this is one of the main reasons why people visit the area.

The site is recognisable thanks to the soaring whitewashed and red-tipped lighthouse that rises at its centre. Visitors can stand atop and look down to where pirate ships and naval frigates would once have done battle in the seas.

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EGLISE DE LORIENT
Formerly known as Eglise Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption de Lorient, meaning Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Lorient. This beautiful church is one of three Roman Catholic churches on the island. that was built around 1850. Its bell tower is protected with the title of Historic Monument.

The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption was founded around 1724. It was later raised to the ground by privateers, only to be rebuilt in 1820, with the aid of the colonial governor of Sweden, and again in 1871 by Father Couturier.

The bell tower, built in 1850, served as a refuge for sailors. The bell was cast in 1860 in Nantes.

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SHELLONA RESTAURANT
Ideally situated in Shell Beach, the closest beach to Gustavia, Shellona is now one of St Barth’s most renowned spots, with a spectacular view on the Caribbean Sea, and possesses a warm and festive atmosphere.

Shellona has taken the opportunity of its opening, after the Do Brazil was closed, to build a new deck, set a larger lunch/dinner area, install comfortable sofas and wooden tables, stretch sunshades between white parasols, set light spots and speakers in the trees, and install welcoming deck chairs. The exceptional location on Shell Beach will welcome those looking for a casual lunch on a sunny day, a refreshing cocktail after sunbathing on the beach, or for a succulent dinner lulled by the rhythm of the waves. The location allows you to enjoy the beautiful Caribbean Sea view, almost feet in the sand, and is inviting you to taste a mediterranean cuisine, thanks to their new Executive Chef, Yiannis Kioroglou, former cook at La Guérite (Cannes, St Barth) and at Victoria Paris (16th arrondissement).

Official Website: shellonabeach.com

Information courtesy of stbartsguide.com

History of St. Barthelemy

ST. BARTHELEMYSt. Barthelemy, a volcanic land mass of only 8 square miles, is said to have been first sighted by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and was named after his brother Bartolomeo. The native Carib Indians ferociously resisted all attempts by the Europeans to settle on the island. In 1648, a failed colonisation attempt was made by French settlers from St. Kitts. A few determined peasants from Brittany and Normandy survived the resistance and in 1660 a second attempt at settlement was successful. 

In 1673 the island became a part of France and a part of the government of Guadeloupe. By 1687, St. Barthelemy had a population of 500. In 1784 Sweden’s King Gustav III was given the island by Louis XVI of France in exchange for a warehouse in Goteberg Harbour and in 1785 Gustav declared the island a free port. Swedish settlers arrived, and the island prospered as commercial traffic transited through the newly named harbour of Gustavia. 

The 19th century was not kind to St. Barth or St. Barts as it is also called. Numerous misfortunes including hurricanes, droughts, yellow fever epidemics, and a disastrous fire descended upon the island. As steam power replaced wind, ships were able to take more direct routes to and from American ports, bypassing St. Barth. 

Ridding itself of an increasingly heavy economic burden, Sweden sold the island back to France in 1878 for 320,000 francs. Provisions of this agreement required the island remain duty free and that the population never pay taxes! 

Many of the local inhabitants are descendants of the early settlers from Brittany and Normandy and their language still reflects traces of the Norman French. The Swedish influence remains to this day as does the distinction of being a duty-free port. 

With the landing of the first plane, a two-seater flown by Remy De Haenan, tourism was able to develop. However, the airstrip, even today, is not large enough to handle jetliners bringing an onslaught of visitors. 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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RADIO
Overseas colllectivity of France, French flag is the national Flag.

The local flag is white with the Coat of Arms in the middle.

BAHAMAS
In 1977, the national archives asked every French municipality and department to create its own “symbolic crest.” The municipality of Saint Barthélemy, upon the advice of the director of the Archives of France, contacted a heraldic artist whose specialty is the creation of coats of arms for cities and town. And the coat of arms for Saint Barthélemy was created. The complex history of Saint Barthélemy left many important symbols for the artist to use.

Several of them were united into the coat of arms, including:

  • Ouanalao: the Carib Indian name for Saint Barthélemy
  • The Maltese Cross illustrates that the island once belonged to the Order of Malta
  • The fleur-de-lis represents the French monarchy: marking France’s rule of the island
  • The gold mural crown representing the Greek goddesses that protected the fortune of a city; used since the Empire period
  • The crowns of three Swedish kings: a reminder of the Swedish era of the island
  • Pelicans: the popularity of these birds has made them the mascot of the island

Information courtesy of saintbarth-tourisme.com

As an overseas collectivity of France, the National anthem is the French national anthem ‘La Marsellaise’. The local anthem ‘L ‘Hymne à Saint-Barthélemy’ is below.

Local anthem – ‘L ‘Hymne à Saint-Barthélemy’

French:

1. Ile oubliée des dieux et inconnue des hommes,
Tu dormais alanguie attendant qu’on te nomme,
Quand le tambour des pieds foulant tes anses blondes
T’arracha à ton rêve et t’ouvrit sur le monde.

CHORUS:
Ouanalao ou Saint Barthélemy,
Ile des Antilles et île de France,
Garde ta foi, ton espérance,
Ta liberté sera notre devise.

2. Arawaks, Caraïbes, Bretons et flibustiers,
Anglais, Flamands, Français, Espagnols et colons,
Pirogues, caravelles, galiotes et galions
Ecrivirent ton histoire dans le fond de tes baies.

Chorus

3. Tes enfants, hommes de mer, d’îles en îles ont cherché
Ailleurs cette fortune que tu leur refusait.
Mais de paroles de rois, Suédois puis Français,
Ils reçurent en partage honneur et dignité.

Chorus

4. Terre d’espoir, de feu, de peine et de courage,
Défiant l’océan, les vents, les ouragans,
Tes filles et tes fils sans plainte refont l’ouvrage,
Comme l’ont fait toujours avant eux leurs parents.

Chorus

5. A tes mornes arides, offre tes belles plages,
A tes années sans pluie, tes heures d’abondance,
A tes fils en exil, leur force et leur puissance,
A tes moments de doute, la parole des sages.

Chorus 

English:

1. Isle forgotten by the gods, unknown by the men,
You were sleeping, languid, waiting for a given name,
When the drum of the feet trampling your blond coves,
Tore you out of your dream and opened you to the world.

CHORUS:
Ouanalao or Saint Barthélemy
Isle of the Antilles and isle of France
Don’t give up your faith, don’t give up your hope
Your freedom remains our motto

2. Arawaks, Caraibes, Bretons and pirates
English, Flemish, French, Spanish and settlers
Canoes, caravelles, galiotes and galions.
Have written your history at the bottom of your bays.

Chorus

3. Your children, seamen they were, went from isle to isle
To catch elsewhere the fortune you didn’t give to them
But from the kings’ words, Swedish and then French
They received as inheritance honor and dignity.

Chorus

4. Land of hope, of fire, of pain and of spirit
Defying the ocean, the winds, the hurricanes
Without complaint your daughters and sons they rebuild
As their parents have always done before them.

Chorus

5. To your barren hills give your beautiful beaches
To your years of drought, your hours of plenty
To your exiled sons their strength and their power
To your moments of doubts the word of the wise men.

Chorus 

BASIC INFO:

  • TIME ZONE:

    Atlantic Standard Time (AST)

  • CAPITAL CITY

    Gustavia

  • LANGUAGE

    French

  • INDEPENDENCE

    N/A – Overseas collectivity of France

  • ETHNIC GROUPS

    White, Creole, black, Guadeloupe Mestizo (French-East Asia)

  • POPULATION

    7,184 (July 2017 est. )

  • NATIONAL DISH

    Accras (deep-fried codfish fritters)

    Check out the recipe

  • CURRENCY

    Euro

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Anne Laubies

Prefect
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Bruno Magras

President of the Territorial Council

President of the Territorial Council

BRUNO MAGRAS

TOOK OFFICE: 16/07/2007 – 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.