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Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Guadeloupe

Basse-Terre - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Guadeloupe

For admirers of built heritage, the town of Basse-Terre (the administrative capital of Guadeloupe), on the south-west coast of the eponymous island, is an unmissable feature of the Guadeloupe archipelago. With its quiet charm and historic monuments, it is well worth a visit.

Though the name of Fort Delgrès, built in the 17th and 18th centuries, has been changed several times in the course of time and according to its occupants, from 1989 it has borne the name of a famous historical figure known for his anti-slavery proclamation. An important centre of resistance in Guadeloupe to the re-establishment of slavery in 1802, this imposing building with thick stone walls majestically overlooks the sea, commanding a magnificent view of the town and the Caribbean mountains. As well as this incredible panoramic view and the lovely walks you can enjoy there, you will find an impressive memorial in honour of the 1802 hero Louis Delgrès.

The exploration of this Town of Art and History continues in the Saint-François district, at the Heritage House (Maison du Patrimoine). Established in an early 19th -century building, the centre hosts temporary exhibitions and conferences, and organises guided tours of different places in Basse-Terre. Not far from there is the 18th-century cathedral of Our Lady of Guadeloupe (Notre-Dame-de-Guadeloupe), which has a fine façade of dressed volcanic stone, in the Jesuit Baroque style.

After passing through the Place du Champ d'Arbaud, which is designed for strolling around, you can explore Basse-Terre's pleasant seafront, with its renowned covered market selling fruit, vegetables, spices, punch, flavoured rums and other local produce, and taking place in the mornings from Monday to Saturday, in a cheerful and sociable atmosphere! If you enjoy rum, you can go to the Bologne distillery, where they produce the famous cane juice rum. Situated at the northern exit from the town, the distillery gives guided tours of its plant, as well as a tasting at the end of the tour.

Additional information

Located on the island of Guadeloupe, the common Basse-Terre takes place on the coast under the wind of the territory at the foot of the Soufrière volcano. Head of the department, it hosts nearly 12 000 inhabitants and is located next to the city of Saint-Claude.

Basse-Terre take its name of the marine vocabulary used in the course of the seventeenth century. The term once used to describe a land protected from the wind. Before becoming the French city as we know, the town of Guadeloupe was a village populated by Native Americans, mainly potters and horticulturists. The current town was born in the first half of the seventeenth century, and has seen many movements centuries wire with the wars between English and French. The various natural disasters that have hit the city (typhoons, volcanic eruptions...) sometimes slowed down the economic growth of Basse-Terre, but the city has always proudly identified.

Ranked City of Art and History, presents Basse-Terre still a rich and diverse heritage that attracts visitors to the island. Its typical and colorful architecture and its traditions make this town a place of Guadeloupe appreciated and essential tourism.

Things to see and do

Old and multicultural city Basse-Terre present for centuries already exceptional monuments and a cultural heritage that has no shortage of passionate lovers of history and traditions.

Dedicated to the late nineteenth century, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadeloupe sits on an old wooden chapel of the eighteenth century. Listed building, it covers part of the ancient Indian village behind Basse-Terre. Jesuit baroque style, the building reveals a beautiful façade in volcanic stone, as well as ancient statues of saints. The cathedral is unusual not to present steeple. The latter, built in 1837, is indeed in the back of the building, and has also been classified as an historic monument.

Also in the religious heritage, we also note the presence of the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, listed building, and built by the first settlers of the seventeenth century Basse-Terre. The St. Anthony monastery of the late nineteenth century, has meanwhile been listed historical monument and serves as a shelter to the congregation of St. Vincent de Paul.

The old Fort Charles, now christened stronger Delgrès, was classified as an historic monument for its architectural and cultural interest. Built in 1649, it has been repeatedly expanded over the centuries by its successive governors. Overlooking the city of Basse-Terre, the building, the top of its walls, offering panoramic views of the city, the sea and the countryside.

Several buildings Basse-Terre are due to the famous architect Ali Tur, as the Palace of Justice classified as an historic monument, the current prefecture, or the clock of the market in 1932.

Since the 1980s, one can visit the Gerty-Archimedes museum in the former home of the lawyer of the same name. Labeled illustrious House, the building relates the life and the secrets of this important woman Guadeloupe policy.

Walking through Basse-Terre, visitors discover several houses in the late eighteenth century listed or classified historic monument. Could not miss the house Chapp, the house shell, the Liensol home or home Matis.

Classified as an historic monument, the Gerville-Réache school built in the early nineteenth century, once used as a military hospital.

It is sure to take a walk on the sea boulevard, nicknamed Parkway Tropical English.

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Performance halls

Events and festivities

Basse-Terre The market is held every day from 6am.

In March, the Caribbean Nights festival offers concerts all over the island, including the city of Basse-Terre which hosts several events.

In June, we Tan Pou Mango offers visitors, exhibitions, craft markets, conferences and other musical events in a very festive atmosphere.

Swing Jazz Festival is the opportunity to attend several concerts in July.

In the summer, the city of Basse-Terre also offers an interesting festival of kites, with flight demonstrations, workshops or entertainment of all kinds.

Detailed information

Guadeloupe Carnival
The Antilles' unmissable festivalJanuary / February 2018

Visits, leisure and activities nearby


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