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With its iron-grille-work balconies overflowing with flowers, Fort-de-France, the largest town on Martinique, seems like a cross between New Orleans and a town on the French Riviera. It lies at the end of a large bay surrounded by green hills.
The proud people of Martinique are even more fascinating than the town of Fort-de-France, although today the Creole women are likely to be seen in jeans instead of their traditional turbans, Empress Joséphine-style gowns, and massive, jouncing earrings.
Narrow streets climb up the steep hills, where houses have been built to catch the overflow of the capital's more than 100,000 inhabitants.
Find American flights to Fort de France, Martinique, and plan a Caribbean vacation beyond compare. Boasting both history that dates back to the 17th century and modern conveniences befitting its luxurious reputation, there is an endless list things to do in Fort de France. Here are a few of our favorites.
The capital city of Martinique was founded in the 1600s (when it was called Fort Royal), so some of the most fascinating activities in Fort de France revolve around exploring its rich history. Start with Fort Saint Louis, which was built in the 17th century and famously fended off a Dutch attack in 1674. Today the fort is a national historic site that is also used as a naval base. When you visit, you'll be able to see the monuments built in honor of the heroes of the 1674 action. Other notable sites in Fort de France include Fort Desaix, which was built by 1772 atop Morne Garnier. Fort Desaix is the name given to it by Napoleon in 1802 to honor General Louis Desaix (previously it had been known as Fort Bourbon, Fort la Convention and Fort George).
After your tour of the forts, it's time to engage in another of the most fascinating things to do in Fort de France, and that is viewing the city's unique architecture. Visit the Schoelcher Library, an iron and glass structure built by French architect Pierre-Henri Picq that was originally displayed at the 1889 Paris World's Fair. After the Fair, it was disassembled, shipped to Fort de France, and erected again on its current site. Victor Schoelcher, who is revered for his role in ending slavery on the island, donated thousands of books to begin the library's collection in the late 19th century. Picq is also the architect of the historic and beautiful Saint-Louis Cathedral, also known as the Fort de France Cathedral.
Once you're sufficiently caught up on the city's history, turn to one of the many relaxing things to do in Fort de France, such as wandering through the Big Market, or Spice Market, the largest on the island. Breathe in the aromas of vanilla, peppers, sugar cane and rum. Your appetite is sure to be whetted afterward, so indulge in local cuisine. Fort de France is known for its West Indian and French-infused Caribbean fare, along with its fresh seafood.
For a journey of discovery and relaxation in the Caribbean, fly to Fort de France with American Airlines. A visit here is an experience like none other! Start planning your trip today.
|Abolition of Slavery Day||May 2013 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|Fête de la Musique||Jun 2013 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|Madiflora Flower Fair||Jun 2013 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|Sugarcane Harvest Festival||Jun 2013 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|Tour de Martinique||Jul 2013 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|Fort-de-France Cultural Festival||Jul 2013 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|Tour des Yoles Regatta||Jul - Aug 2013 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|Heritage Days||Sep 2013 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|All Saints||Nov 2013 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|La Belle Martinique Amateur Cycle Race||Nov 2013 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|Pool Art Fair||Nov 2013 (annual)||Impératrice Hotel|
|Fort-de-France Half Marathon||Nov 2013 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|International Deep Sea Fishing Contest||Nov 2013 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|Modern Art Fair||Nov 2013 (biennial)||Fort-de-France|
|Transmartinique||Dec 2013 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|Fête de la Science||Nov - Dec 2013 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|Martinique Jazz Festival||Nov - Dec 2013 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|Christmas in Martinique||Dec 2013 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|Boucans de la Baie Fireworks||Dec 2013 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|Schoelcher Nautical Week||Feb 2014 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|Carnival in Martinique||Feb 2014 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
|Martinique Expo||Mar 2014 (annual)||Pierre Aliker Stadium|
|Biennial Festival of Caribbean Dance||Mar 2014 (biennial)||Martinique Cultural Centre|
|Le Pince d'Or Crab Festival||Apr 2014 (annual)||Fort-de-France|
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