Definitions

terre-tenant

Basse-Terre

[bahs-tair; Fr. bahs-ter]
This article is about the city of Basse-Terre. For the island on which the city is located, see Basse-Terre Island. Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, should not be confused with Basseterre the capital of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Basse-Terre is the capital city of Guadeloupe, an overseas région and département of France located in the Lesser Antilles. The city of Basse-Terre is located on Basse-Terre Island, the western-half of Guadeloupe.

Although it is the administrative capital of Guadeloupe, Basse-Terre is only the second-largest city in Guadeloupe behind Pointe-à-Pitre, with 44,864 inhabitants in its urban area in 1999 (12,400 of whom lived in the city of Basse-Terre proper).

Name

See Basse-Terre Island for the origin of the name Basse-Terre.

History

The city was founded in 1643, in the mountainous section of Basse-Terre, one of the two islands which compose Guadeloupe. It was destroyed many times as a consequence of the Anglo-French wars. Today the town is quiet with its French provincial atmosphere and colourful port life.

Sights

In town is the Cathedral of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul, a 19th century building which has a notable grey stone highlighted by white statues; many other colonial buildings; La place du Champ d'Arbaud, the main square and Le Jardin Pichon, the park adjoining to the south & the Zoological and Botanical Park lies on a hilltop garden on the banks of La Rivière-aux-Herbes. This is a reserve of the plants and animals of Guadeloupe.

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