|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2008)|
Location of the commune (in red) within Guadeloupe
|Overseas region and department||Guadeloupe|
|Canton||1st and 2nd|
|• Mayor||Joël Beaugendre|
|• Land1||103.3 km2 (39.9 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||190/km2 (500/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||97107 / 97130|
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.
Capesterre-Belle-Eau is a commune in the French overseas region and department of Guadeloupe, in the Lesser Antilles. It is located in the south-east of Basse-Terre Island. Capesterre-Belle-Eau covers an area of 103.3 km² (39.884 sq mi) and the population as of 1999 is 19,568. The population density is 189 persons per km2. The inhabitants are called Capesterriens. The mayor is Joël Beaugendre.
Petroglyphs discovered in the rivers of Peru and Bananier show the presence of American Indians.
On 4 November 1493, Christopher Columbus's second voyage unloaded here, where Columbus would have met Amerindians. In order to commemorate this event, a bust of the navigator was raised in 1916 at the entry of Sainte-Marie.
In the 18th century, Charles Houel gave land to Dutch colonists driven out of Brazil, so that they could grow sugar cane there. After the abolition of chattel slavery in 1848, Indian indentured workers were hired to replace the now-freed slaves on the plantations. They built a temple to practice their religion in the Shangy district.
The town is located at the south-east of the Basse-Terre and is located south of the Capesterre River. Basse-Terre, the capital is 26 km (16 mi) south-west and Pointe-à-Pitre is 35 km (22 mi) north-north-east.
Its name comes from an expression of the navy of the 17th century: cab-be-ground, which indicates a ground exposed to the east wind. The abundance of the cascades, the rivers and the water levels led to the addition of the phrase Belle Eau, hence the name Capesterre-Belle-Eau.
Like any other Eastern Caribbean city, Capesterre-Belle-Eau experiences quite evenly spread rainfall during the year, with a wetter season between July and November which coincides with hurricane season. The city receives 2000–2500 mm of rainfall. Tropical heat brings 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.
Capesterre-Belle-Eau economy is geared towards agricultural production, particularly banana growing, thanks to the high quality of the soil. There are many banana plantations located around Capesterre-Belle-Eau. Also, farmers cultivate sugar cane, cocoa, vanilla, coffee, pineapples and vegetables of all kinds.
The Hindu Temple in Chansy with its face ornamented by colorful statues.
The road, towards Capesterre-Belle-Eau is bordered for more than 1 km (0.62 mi) by two double lines of royal palm trees. The first lines (350 palm trees) were planted in 1850 by the writer Pinel Dumanoir to delimit his property.
Bois Debout estate was the holiday house for the poet, St-John Perse, where he spent his holidays in Guadeloupe.
Near the Bois Debout estate, on a small way leading to an underwood, a flagstone in the Cemetery of the Slaves, requires the visitors to “Honor and Respect” the memory of the slaves. Several tens of unnamed tombs oriented “head towards Africa” are there.
Carbet Falls comprises three cascades, and is a main attraction in Basse-Terre.
- Sonny Rupaire, poet
- Official website (French)