The original island inhabitants were peaceful Arawak Indians who were later subdued by the warlike Caribs who gave the island many place names including Hewannora meaning “where the Iguana is found.” Although there is tradition that Columbus discovered the island on one of his new world voyages, the best evidence suggests that he did not.
The first European settler was apparently the pirate Francois Le Clerc known as Wooden Leg who used Pigeon Island as his jumping off point for attacking Spanish ships. Between 1651 when the French first arrived and 1814 when the island was formally ceded to the British, the island changed hands between the French and British no less than 14 times involving several notable land and sea battles.
With the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, Admiral Rodney, the head of the British fleet, had a decision to make. Should he take the fleet north to quell the rebellion in the colonies or should he stay in the Caribbean to protect British interests against the French? Believing the value of the Caribbean sugar trade to outweigh the value of the colonies, he stayed at his base on Pigeon Island.
The sugar trade flourished until the abolition of slavery in 1838. Most islanders today are descended from the slaves. For about 50 years at the end of the 19th century, the Castries harbor served as a coaling station bringing indentured servants from India many of whom stayed. Caribbean curried dishes reflect this heritage. St. Lucia gained full independence from England in 1979 and has experienced a stable Parliamentary form of government since.
St. Lucia is located in the Southeastern Caribbean approximately 1,300 miles from Florida. It is part of the Windward Islands which in turn are part of the lesser Antilles which are part of the West Indies. This 238 square mile island is presently populated by about 150,000 people. St Lucia has many all inclusive resorts and hotels for more details go to http://www.luxury-resort-guide.com/caribbean/st-lucia-all-inclusive-resorts-combine-luxury-and-value/
The island is volcanic in origin. The majestic Pitons are visual evidence of this as are the sulfur springs. Soufriere, the city at the base of the Pitons, means sulfur. Beaches in the southwest, mountainous part of the island (such as Anse Chastanet) are black sand owing to the presence of lava rock. The rain forest is also located here in the mountainous region. The jungle foliage is lush and colorful. The northern part of the island is hilly rather than mountainous, and the beaches are more typically white sand. The colorful flowering foliage is still present, however.
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