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French Guiana

Main attractions

Launch of Ariane 5, Kourou
Launch of Ariane 5, Kourou / Douglasfugazi, / CC BY-SA 3.0

French Guiana is an overseas region and overseas department of France.

This country is mostly covered with tropical rainforest and major part of it is taken the 33,900 km² large Guiana Amazonian Park.

Climate in this lowland rainforest is humid and very hot - thus French Guiana has lots of known (and yet unknown) values of biological diversity, but not thyat many man made landmarks. This remote country has been used as a prison in the 19th and 20th centuries but now here is located one of the main cosmoports of the world.

Natural landmarks

Sight from Nouragues Inselberg, French Guiana
Sight from Nouragues Inselberg / Thibaud Syre, / CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Nouragues Inselberg - Cayenne. In the middle of equatorial lowland rainforest rises a granite hill (411 m above the sea level). It is covered with specific, dry, low forest rich and rock savanna, rich with rare and endemic species. Equatorial Sun heats the rock up to 75° C hot. In French Guiana are known more than 100 such inselbergs.
  • Savane-Roche la Virginie - Cayenne. Granite inselberg with barren summit. Extremely rich with bromieliad species, some of these might be endemic to this mountain.
  • Voltaire Falls - Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni. Comparatively low but picturesque waterfall.

Petroglyphs

Les Roches Gravees of Mount Carapa, French Guiana
Les Roches Gravées of Mount Carapa, Kourou / Philipp Weigell, / CC BY 3.0

Here and there throughout the country are found petroglyphs, most likely made several thousand years ago.

  • Fawara Mountain petroglyphs near Kaw - Cayenne. A cliff covered with intricate petroglyphs. Among the many abstract drawings seen a drawing of snake.
  • Les Roches Gravées of Mount Carapa - Cayenne, Kourou. Group of petroglyphs in the industrial suburb of Kourou.
  • Les Roches Gravées at Pavée stream - Cayenne, Rémire-Montjoly. Group of prehistoric petroglyphs.
  • Petroglyphs of Maroni River - Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, Maripasoula. Rocks, covered with prehistoric engravings.

Architecture and history monuments

Ile du Diable, French Guiana
Île du Diable / Ronan Follic, / CC BY 2.0
  • Cayenne historical centre - Cayenne. The city was established in 1664 and the ruins of Fort Cépérou from this time still are visible but most of the colonial style buildings are from the 19th - early 20th century. Many buildings are renovated, thus returning a charm to the city.
  • Guiana Space Centre – Cayenne. One of the busiest and technically most convenient and advanced space centres in the world. Built in 1968 and used jointly by France and the European Space Agency.
  • Île du Diable, Île Sain-Joseph and Île Royale - Cayenne. Former French penal colony. A fortress was built here in 1793 and soon here arrived the first political convicts. Used as a prison until 1947. On Île Royale were located administration and hospital, Île du Diable - for political enemies and spies and Île Sain-Joseph - for dangerous criminals. There were other prisons in French Guiana, in the middle of forest. These prisons were even more deadly.
  • Iracoubou St. Joseph Church - Cayenne. This church was built by villagers in 1893. Interior of the church is beautiful - covered with 600 m² large, naive frescoes, painted by the convict Pierre Huguet.

List of described attractions by arrondissements

Ffrench Guiana is an overseas region of France. It is divided into 2 arrondissements.

Cayenne
ArrowIracoubou St. Joseph ChurchChurches
Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni

Map of French Guiana

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