Le Moule

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Le Moule
Location of the commune (in red) within Guadeloupe
Location of the commune (in red) within Guadeloupe
Coordinates: 16°19′50″N 61°20′40″W / 16.3306°N 61.3444°W / 16.3306; -61.3444Coordinates: 16°19′50″N 61°20′40″W / 16.3306°N 61.3444°W / 16.3306; -61.3444
Country France
Overseas region and department Guadeloupe
Arrondissement Pointe-à-Pitre
Canton Le Moule 1st / Le Moule 2nd
Government
 • Mayor Gabriel Louis-Carabin
Area
 • Land1 82.84 km2 (31.98 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 • Population2 21,602
 • Population2 density 260/km2 (680/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 97117 / 97160

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Le Moule is the sixth-largest commune in the French overseas department of Guadeloupe. It is located on the northeast side of the island of Grande-Terre.

History[edit]

Beginning 1635 with the arrival of the French and during the 17th century, the village was called Portland. The principal part of the city was located on the actual site of Autre Bord, towards the east. During the 18th century, the city became the stronghold for colonial aristocracy and the center moved to the left bank of river Audoin. This was thanks to the development of sugar cane and for a better placement of the port on the Atlantic Ocean. A lot of important construction took place to protect and improve the city, one of which was a breakwater ("mole" in French) that gave the city its new name, Le Moule, that became Guadeloupe's main commercial port. On September 20, 1828, Le Moule received rights to export its commodities to the metropolitan France without going through Pointe à Pitre. Thus having direct contact with French territory, it became a target for the British fleet during the Napoleon war at the beginning of the 19th century. The heroic battle of 1809 remains a historic date for Guadeloupe.

In practice, all sugar cane, sugar and rum produced in Grande Terre were shipped from Le Moule's port. Consequently, the city enjoyed a flourishing commerce that was further supplemented by shipments of coffee, cotton, fertilizer, coal, building material and spare parts.

During the first half of the 19th century with its numerous refineries and plantations (at first about thirty then about one hundred), the planters lived a self-sufficient life style farming sugar cane, coffee, cotton, cocoa, spices and other essential food product, thus dominating Guadeloupean economics during the 1850s. After this date, they experienced many financial collapses because of failed crops, abolition of slavery, the production of better sugar in Europe and the very strict "colonial pact". Shared farming has become necessary as well as industrial modernization and steam machines replaced traditional windmills. The sugar crises forced a new decision. In 1901, only 4 refineries survived: Duchassaing, Zévallos, Marly and Gardel. Le Moule's port lost its place of dominance to Pointe à Pitre, the center of commerce shifted and the city fell into solitude.

The devastating cyclone of 1928 was the sounding force and the point of return for the community. The city not only rose from its ruins thanks to Mayor Charles Romana, but it also constructed new buildings: the townhouse, schools, churches, roads and parks.

In 2002, Gabrielle Louis-Carabin became the mayor of Le Moule, and is also a member of the general council of Guadeloupe.

Le Moule's history, the richest on the island, enabled it to maintain many remains and relics, and to develop centers of interest around them that carry the visitor into a past full of emotion.

Climate[edit]

Le Moule is on the island of Guadeloupe in Caribbean, near the Equator. The town experiences warm/hot temperatures at day and cool temperatures at night. The temperature range at daytime vary between 80°F (27°C) to 84°F (29°C) between October–May & 84°F (29°C) to 90°F (32°C), sometimes above 90°F between. The heat and humidity are higher from July to October.

Geography[edit]

Le Moule is on Grand-Terre Island. The island is a limestone plateau. The city extends along the north shore of the Atlantic coast, 51 km (32 mi), northeast of Pointe-a-Pitre. Its relief has an exceptional quality of life that is benefited first by the people, then agriculture and tourism. The surrounding are consists of mangrove swamps, golden sand beaches, small lagoons and fertile farmlands ;all that gives visitors the feeling of sharing an atmosphere of well being beside warm and inviting people. The city extends along the shore for several kilometres before letting place to countryside. The city's numerous road axes offer easy connection with other tourist sites. Also Le Moule receives enormous waves and surfing is a big thing to do.

Some of the settlements in the commune of Le Moule are:

Economy[edit]

Le Moule was a sugar port in the 17-18th centuries. Now tourism has boomed and there are some seaside resorts on nearby beaches. There are 2 distilleries nearby. Agriculture is predominantly spread around Le Moule with fields growing bananas, sugarcane & livestock rearing.

Sights[edit]

Le Moule has an array of sights to see either in or around Le Moule.

The Damoiseau Distillery in Bellevue in the middle of a sugar cane fields, this metallic plant is widely opened towards the outside. Production is limited to white rum, old vintage rum and punches all of which have been bestowed numerous awards for their quality.

The Gardel Plant was built under the reconstruction plan for the agriculture sector in 1870, after the historic financial collapse. It is owned by "Générale Sucrière", the world-leader in the sugar refinery industry. It is the sole refinery on the main island of Guadeloupe and, consequently, a symbol. Its installation in the epicenter of sugar cane plantations affords heavy production from March to July.

The Ouatibi-Tibi Archaeological Park is situated in Morel on 7 hectares of beach that run alongside the lagoon. It's a place for taking strolls, for relaxing and meditating. It's intensely rich in culture and is composed of 3 sites: a memorial center, an archaeological center & a recreation center.

The Edgar Clerc Museum s a prehistoric Pre-Columbian and Amerindian museum unique to the island. It is located west of the city and will help you to discover the traditions of the Tainos, Caribs, Arawaks and the Caribbean peoples through its collections of pottery and tools found at the diggings of the archaeological park in Morel.

The town hall was reconstructed after the 1928 cyclone by Ali Tur (son of a high ranking government official). Its massive round forms protect it definitely from the natural elements. Its interior decoration, austere and majestic, constantly reminds us of the people's power.

Driving through the Moulian countryside, you will see many windmills in sugarcane fields. These were indispensable for grinning the sugar cane before the arrival of steam machines that had larger flat capacity grinners. Dating back to the 18th century, some are still well maintained. The "tour des moulins" (trail of windmills) makes up a very pleasant route for mountain bike practice.

The Church of Saint Jean Baptiste was constructed in the form of a Latin cross, a neoclassic inspiration, this monument is classified. Since its reconstruction in 1840, it has resisted numerous cyclones. Its exceptional ventilation system preserves, wholly intact, a woody decor in pastel tones. This creates an atmosphere of prayer and meditation that is particularly appreciated by the faithful.

There are many hotels and restaurants which serve French, Continental, Creole and American dishes. And also a couple of beaches: L'Autre Bord, a sea-grape shaded beach on your way into Le Moule & Plage des Baies, about 1 km (0.62 mi) north, which forms a shallow bay ideal for young swimmers.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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