Saint Pierre, when it was nicknamed "the little Paris", was wiped off the map in 90 seconds during the volcanic eruption of Mount Pelee on May 8, 1902. About forty ships at anchor in the bay , Only the Roddan escapes the fiery clouds. In the city, 30,000 people perished, 2 survived. The only one that will be remembered by the story is the prisoner Cyparis, protected by his dungeon.
It was at Saint Pierre that the colonial history of Martinique began, when Pierre Belain d'Estanbuc, accompanied by a hundred settlers, anchored in September 1635. The city of Saint Pierre developed rapidly, 1660, it already had more than 5,000 inhabitants. During the 18th century, many ships stopped there and soon became the commercial capital. Enriching itself, Saint Pierre acquired a cathedral, the largest theater in the West Indies, running water, a botanical garden, electricity and even, at the end of the 19th century, a tramway !
It is also the city of pleasures known to be the most immoral of the Caribbean ... but also one of the most beautiful and most cultivated.
After the eruption of 1902, Fort de France became the commercial capital (without competition) and the site of Saint Pierre remained uninhabited for more than 20 years.
Saint Peter had great difficulty in recovering from his ashes. In 1990, this village of 5,000 inhabitants was labeled 101st "City of Art and History". A pilgrimage to Saint Peter will allow you to discover the few vestiges of the great period of the city: the old theater, the ruins of the Fort or the dungeon of Cyparis etc. A small train offers a guided tour, which will give you a detailed history of the city and the eruption.
The volcanological museum also deserves a visit. He collects all kinds of objects transformed by the warmth of fiery clouds, and shows several images of the destruction of the city.
Saint Pierre is also a wonderful site, facing a beautiful bay and leaning on the foothills of Mount Pelee. Many hiking trails start from Saint Pierre.
Rue Victor Hugo
Face of the old theather
Tél/Fax: +596(0)5 96 78 15 41
Places to visit
- The Volcanological Museum– +596(0)5 96 78 15 16
- Cyparis Dungeon
- Numerous hikes from Saint Pierre
- Scuba diving on the wrecks of Saint Pirre Bay (level 2 minimum)