Published on 07/18/2007
Martinique is the home of Fort de France, a cosmopolitan city with a pace that is fast for the tropics.
Fort de France has a population of over 100,000, making it the largest city on Martinique. It is a bustling port city, with a city park called La Savane just off the wharf. La Savane has a now- headless statue of Empress Josephine, first wife of Napoléon and perhaps the most famous person on Martinique
It rains every day on Martinique, and the vegetation is lush and gorgeous. Martinique has an agrarian economy, with sugar cane, pineapples, and bananas being the money crops. While Fort de France is on the western Caribbean side of the island, La Trinité is on the eastern Atlantic side.
Martinique is home to an active volcano, Montagne Pelée, which erupted in 1902, killing everyone in the town of St-Pierre except the town drunk who had been thrown in jail. The ruins of old St-Pierre have been preserved, and a statue of a woman who's clothes are falling off has been erected to commemorate the victims of the eruption. At the time of the eruption, St-Pierre was the capital of Martinique, and its beauty was such that it was known as the Little Paris of the West Indies. It was totally destroyed along with its 26,000 inhabitants. After the destruction, the capital was moved to Fort de France, where it remains, and the new St-Pierre is a pleasant village with splendid views of Montagne Pelée in one direction and the Caribbean in the other.