Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia is a country in the eastern Caribbean. The island nation is located in the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, in the West Indies (a subregion of North America). Barbados is northwest of the island, and Saint Vincent sits to the north and northeast.

Country Profile

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The island covers an area of 617 km² (238 mi²). Castries is the country’s capital and largest city on the island. The city was founded by the French in 1650 and called ‘Carenage’. It was renamed Castries in 1756 after the French Minister of the Navy and Colonies. Other towns and cities in Saint Lucia include Vieux Fort, Micoud, and Soufrière (the island’s original capital).

The French claimed Saint Lucia in 1650 and signed a treaty with the indigenous Caribs people in 1660. The English tried to claim the island in 1664 but fled two years later. In 1674, Saint Lucia became an official French crown colony. Saint Lucia was historically called ‘Helen of the West Indies’ after Helen of Troy in Greek mythology because the island repeatedly switched between English and French control. Both countries claimed control of the island several times during the 18th century.

The British gained full control of Saint Lucia in 1814 as part of the Treaty of Paris following the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Saint Lucia finally gained independence in 1979, although it retained the British monarch as head of state (represented by a governor-general).

Saint Lucia has a tropical climate, with hot temperatures throughout the year. The island’s wet season starts at the beginning of June and lasts until the end of November. Due to the island’s close proximity to the equator, there is little seasonal temperature variation.

The landscape of Saint Lucia is mountainous; the highest point on Saint Lucia is Mount Gimie, which has an elevation of 950 meters (3,117 ft). There is one main volcano on the island, the Sulphur Springs, which is the world’s only drive-in volcano.

Saint Lucia: Stats and Facts

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