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co-bourg

Grand-Bourg

Grand-Bourg is a commune on the island of Marie-Galante, in the French overseas région and département of Guadeloupe, itself in the Lesser Antilles. It is located in the southwest of Marie-Galante, and is the most populous of the three communes on the island, with a population of 5,707 at the 2006 census. The surface area is 55.54 km² and the population density is 103 persons per sq. km. The mayor is Patrice Tirolien.

Grand-Bourg hosts the headquarters of the communauté de communes of Marie-Galante. The Marie-Galante Airfield is also located in Grand-Bourg.

History

The Marais Folle Anse, a vast fresh water reserve, facilitated the installation of Arawaks at the beginning of the 1st millennium. It is possible that Christophe Columbus unloaded with the Handle Ballet in 1493 at the time of its second voyage. In 1653, a fort was established by the French colonists.

Geography

Grand-Bourg is located at the south-west of the island of Marie-Galante from which it is the chief town. The co-ordinates are 15° 53'N and 61° 19'W.

The major part of the commune makes up of an undulating plate. This one dominates a broad littoral plain and a mangrove in north, broadsides of beaches over their larger part. In the south, those are protected by a coral barrier. The northern limit of the commune follows the Saint-Louis river.

Climate

Like any other Eastern Caribbean town, Grand-Bourg experiences rainfall evenly spread during the year, with a wetter season between July and November which coincides with hurricane season. The town receives 1500-2500 mm of rainfall. Tropical heat is the norm, bringing constant highs of around 32°C (89°F) that drop to 20°C (68°F) at night.

Trade winds, called alizés, blow from the northeast and often temper the climate.

Economy

Grand-Bourg ensures a significant part of the economic activity, commercial and administrative of the island. The port is most important of the island. It accommodates activities of fishing and tourist. An airport ensures the connection with the Guadeloupe in 15 minutes.

Sugar cane fields grow abundantly and a sugar factory is located north. There are two hotels and one restaurant in Grand-Bourg.

Famous Grand-Bourg habitants

Charles-François Bonneville, born on March 13, 1803 was a mayor and adviser general of Grand-Bourg of 1854 to 1860 and president of the Chamber of Agriculture. He revived of the culture of cotton long silk which he tried out on the Thibault dwelling.

Sights

The town is picturesque with its 19th-century church and nearby fort.

The island's best beach lies adjacent to Grand-Bourg, Plage de la Feuillère, a 2km (1 1/4-mile) stretch of white sand that's favored by swimmers and sunbathers.

The Murat Plantation, with its 207 slaves, was considered in 1839 to be the largest sugar cane plantation in Guadeloupe. According to the legend, it was Jeanne Laballe, a fine arts student and wife of Dominique Murat, who laid out the chateau at the beginning of the 19th century. Today, it is an eco-museum of arts and traditions where on several hundreds of square meters it houses over three centuries of Guadeloupe's sugar refinery history up to the colonial age. The museum also has a center of documentation and lecture as well as a garden of medicinal plants.

The Roussel-Trianon Plantation, today owned by the Council General of Guadeloupe, is noted for its stables which are still in very good condition, and for the smoke stack of the old sugar refinery which figures on the list of historical monuments.

The Bielle distillery produces 120,000 liters of rum annually. There is a wide range of flavors: white agricultural rum, chocolate rum, coconut rum and the Bois Bandé punch (aphrodisiac).

The Poisson Distillery produces nearly 200,000 liters of this well known rum a year.

M.Brute Alex is an ox wagon tour company in Grand-Bourg.

The Punch Pond played a role during the dramatic events of 24 and 25 June, 1849. A stele in memory of the martyrs of this historical moment stands nearby. The family and rural center that adjoins this sight is creating the museum project, "Alonzo" that during the year 2000 will provide a scenography of the said events.

Armand Baptiste Sculpture Gallery has a permanent exhibition of wooden sculptures in many types of wood such as ebony, manchioneel, Campeachy, etc.

Au Gres Des Iles Potter's Workshop has an exhibition of pottery artifacts in many characteristics.

Ti-bulles and MAN Balaou Club are two scuba-diving companies in Grand-Bourg.

El Rancho's Discotheque and Movie Theater is open at 10 pm and you can see the latest movies at El Rancho's.

Sister city

Grand-Bourg has a sister city: Bagneux, France.

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