Saint Barthélemy is an overseas collectivity of France, and the capital city of the Island is Gustavia which is the only harbor on the island. St. Barth is the only Caribbean island which had Sweden colonizing for a significant length of time, though Guadeloupe was under the Swedish rule for a brief moment only during the Napoleonic wars. The three crowns appearing in the Islands’ court of arms is a type of the Swedish legacy in the island. However, Cuisine, Language, and culture are distinctively French. St. Barth is a favorite tourist destination especially during winter season particularly for the rich and the celebrities.
6. Where Is St. Barts Located? -
Saint Barthélemy, an overseas collectivity of France, is associated with an interesting history, rich culture, and unique ways of life. The indigenous people of the island are known as the Ouanalao. The Island of St. Barthelemy is about 22miles (35km) to the southeast of St. Martin and north of St. Kitts. Puerto Rico is about 150 miles (240kms) to the west in the Antilles. St. Barthelemy is in the Caribbean and lies between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea; it is located on the leeward side of the northern group of islands and lies to the east of the US Virgin Islands.
5. History Of St. Barts -
The St. Barts island was discovered by Christopher Columbus and he named it after his brother Bartolomeo. The island was settled by the French in 1648 and later sold it to Sweden in 1784, which renamed the largest town after the king of Sweden, Gustav III and made it a free port. The island became the center of trade and a supply center during the colonial wars of the 18th century. France re-purchased the island again in 1877 and took over the control of St. Bart. The island maintained its status as a free port and some Swedish relics such as the court of arms, the names of streets, and names of towns. In 2003 the people of St. Barth voted to secede from Guadeloupe, and the island became a French overseas collectivity in 2007. It is now one of the four territories of French West Indies the others are St. Martin, Martinique, and Guadeloupe. In 2012 St, Barth became a member of the EU.
4. The Population Of St. Barts -
St. Barth is a volcanic island that is surrounded by shallow reefs covering an area of 9.7 square miles (25 sq km) and in 211 the population was estimated at 9,035. In 2016 the population is estimated at 7,209 people. In the census of 2007, there were 8,398 people on the island that was a population density of 335 people per square kilometer. The population is mainly concentrated around the capital city, Gustavia, but there are some settlements around the Islands. The island has no natural rivers or streams and therefore fresh water is in short supply particularly during summer seasons. Therefore fresh water is supplied through desalination of the sea water, imported water with tankers, and collection from rain water.
3. Culture, Language, And Religion Of The People Of St, Barts -
The ethnic groups in the Island include the white Creoles also known as the mulatto, the blacks, and the Guadeloupe Mestizos also known as the French East-Asians. The primary language on the island id French, but English is widely used as well. The predominant religion in St. Barth is Catholicism and other minority religions in the Island are the Protestants and Jehovah witnesses.
2. Habitat And Biodiversity -
The island is arid and has several hundreds of plant species such as sea grapes and palm trees. There are also mangroves and shrubs in the coastal swamps. Plants such as the coconut were imported from the Pacific islands. Besides these, there are also other trees such as the frangipanis, sabal palms, manchineel trees, and wild trumpet, and aleo vera which was brought from the Mediterranean region among many other plant species. Within the Islands are different marine mammals such as the dolphins, whales, turtles which are endangered and are now protected. Three types of turtles have been identified around the island including the leatherback sea turtle, the hawksbill turtle, and the green turtles.
1. Tourism And Tourist Activities At St. Barts -
It is estimated that about 200,000 tourists visit the island every year and this has led to a boom in the construction of tourist residentials and apartments which can be as costly as €61 million for a beach villa. St. Barthelemy has approximately 25 hotels having an average of 15 rooms each and some of the biggest could have as many as 58 rooms, and they are categorized following the French version of three stars, four stars, and four-star luxe. There are also private villas available for rent. There are about 70,000 visitors booking luxury hotels every year and another 130,000 arriving on luxury boats. Tourists are many during the month of December as that is the highest season on the island.
The island has a 1,200-hectare marine nature reserve commonly known as the Reserve Naturelle and is made up of five regions surrounding the island, and together all form the network to protect the coral reefs, the endangered marine life, and the sea grass of the island.