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Martinique

Main attractions

Rainforest near Balata, Martinique
Rainforest near Balata / Sébastien Avenet, / CC BY 2.0

Every Caribbean island is beautiful, but Martinique could be among the most gorgeous ones. Island though is not very rich with outstanding natural landmarks, but there are numerous landmarks of colonial architecture.

Natural landmarks

  • Diamond Rock - 175 m high rock - volcanic plug - rising from the Caribbean. At certain times of the day it reflects in the sea and resembles a diamond. This inhospitable and nearly unaccessible rock could be the last refuge of a reptile - Couress grass snake (Liophis cursor). There is a cavern below the water level - it is adorned with sea fans and corals.
  • Gorges of Falaise River - two impressive, narrow chasms with waterfalls.

Man made landmarks

Fortifications

  • Fort Desaix - historical fortification, rising above Fort-de-France. Constructed in 1768 - 1772 in a hill. Used by military today as well.
  • Fort Saint Louis - historical fortification, still in use by the army. First constructed in 1638 on peninsula, further reinforced in the coming centuries.

Churches

Balata Cathedral, Martinique
Balata Cathedral / Gaël Chardon, / CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Balata Cathedral - gorgeous cathedral, a replica of Sacré-Cœur in Paris. This cathedral is located amidst lush tropical forest with mountainous background.
  • Marin church of Saint-Etienne - Le Marin town. Very old church, constructed in 1766, with marble altar.
  • St. Louis Cathedral - ornate Neo-Gothic cathedral, cosntructed from iron in 1895.

Plantation houses, palaces

  • Aubery Palace - large palace in Art deco style, constructed in 1928 - 1930.
  • Dubuc Castle - ruins of large country house which was constructed in 1721 and heavily damaged by earthquake soon after, in 1727. House of pirate.
  • Habitation Clément (Clement House) - well preserved plantation house from the late 18th - early 19th century. Contains rum distillery and rum cellars. Rich furnishings. Surrounding park has been turned into botanical garden.
Schoelcher Library, Martinique
Schoelcher Library / Gaël Chardon, / CC BY-SA 2.0

Other man made landmarks

  • Banana Museum - located in a historical banana plantation, this museum provides rich information about bananas.
  • Jardin de Balata - interesting botanical garden, developed since 1982 on private initiative. Contains rich collection of tropical plants including 300 types of palm trees.
  • Schoelcher Library - ornate library building, first constructed in 1886 - 1887 in Paris, then shipped to Martinique. Architecture of the building has influence of Byzantine style and other exotic styles.
  • St. Pierre ruins - remnants of once beautiful city, the "Paris of Caribbean". St. Pierre was destroyed by the eruption in 1902, when almost all 20,000 inhabitants of the city died.

List of described attractions

Martinique is an overseas region of France.

ArrowDiamond RockRock spires, Ecosystems

Map of Martinique

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