Saint-Pierre was the economic and cultural centre of Martinique for a long time, inhabited by a rich bourgeoisie who grew powerful over centuries thanks to the sugar industry. Its port was one of the busiest in the Caribbean…until May 8, 1902. That day, an eruption of Mount Pelée, the volcano that dominates the city from a height of 1397 metres, destroyed all that was sweet in life.
The pyroclastic flow caused the deaths of 26,000 people, destroyed thousands of homes, and sank around 40 boats in the harbour. Saint-Pierre was wiped off the map of communities before being re-born decades later. Now a city of art and history, it is looking to its past, which it is patiently restoring.
Here you can survey the streets, visit the cathedral, the ruins of the Colonial House of Health and those of the theatre, built, it was said, on the model of that of Bordeaux. One can also see the cell where the fortunate prisoner Cyparis was locked up, one of only two survivors of the eruption, the thick prison walls having protected him.
Centre-Martinique tourist office
29 rue Victor Hugo
+596 (0)5 96 80 00 70