Fort Napoléon des Saintes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Fort Napoléon des Saintes
Display featuring Dendrogyra cylindrus at the Fort Napoléon museum.

Fort Napoléon is located on Terre-de-Haut Island, in the Îles des Saintes, Guadeloupe. Built on the morne (Caribbean French word for "bluff") called Mire, it was originally named Fort Louis. It was destroyed by British forces in 1809. It was rebuilt in 1867, and named after Napoleon III, but never saw use in battle, and was instead used as a penitentiary. It has now been turned into a museum dedicated to the Saintes’ history, culture, and environment. It also has contains the Jardin exotique du Fort Napoléon, a botanical garden dedicated to local succulent plants and iguanas.

Additionally, there is a myth that the fort is haunted by the spirit of a young French girl who fell in love with a British officer. Her lover promised to return for her when his duty was up, however after waiting for several years the young woman lost hope. She believed the officer had found another and in desperation she threw herself off the cliffs of Les Saintes and into the ocean. The young man did return for his love and after finding out she ended her life believing he had betrayed her, he too threw himself from the cliffs. Inside the museum there is a display that details the young lovers story.[citation needed]

Coordinates: 15°52′30″N 61°34′57″W / 15.87500°N 61.58250°W / 15.87500; -61.58250