A stroll around Saint-Pierre: souvenirs of a volcanic eruption

A stroll around Saint-Pierre: souvenirs of a volcanic eruption

Here, the visitor has an appointment with history, for in 1902 the volcano destroyed the town, which is re-born today.

Saint-Pierre was the economic and cultural centre of Martinique for a long time, inhabited by a rich bourgeoisie who grew powerful over centuries thanks to the sugar industry. Its port was one of the busiest in the Caribbean…until May 8, 1902. That day, an eruption of Mount Pelée, the volcano that dominates the city from a height of 1397m, destroyed all that was sweet in life.

The pyroclastic flow caused the deaths of 26,000 people, destroyed thousands of homes, and sank around 40 boats in the harbour. Saint-Pierre was wiped off the map of communities before being re-born decades later. Now a city of art and history, it is looking to its past, which it is patiently restoring.

Here you can survey the streets, visit the cathedral, the ruins of the Colonial House of Health and those of the theatre, built, it was said, on the model of that of Bordeaux. You can also see the cell where the fortunate prisoner Cyparis was locked up: he was one of only two survivors of the eruption, with the thick prison walls protecting him from the flow.

Saint-Pierre tourist office
Villa Sainte Anne
Rue Victor Hugo
97250 Saint-Pierre

+596 (0)5 96 78 34 05