The capital city of Saint Barthelemy, commonly known as St. Barth, is Gustavia. It is situated on the central western coast of Saint Barthelemy. Gustavia is also Saint Barthelemy’s main town. In 1648, the island was first acquired by France. It was later handed over to Sweden in 1784 in return for trade privileges in Gothenburg. During this time, Gustavia was called Le Carénage because it was a shelter for wrecked ships. In that same year, the capital was given the name Gustavia in tribute to its King Gustav III of Sweden. It was then declared a free port. France reclaimed the island in 1878.

The population of Saint Barthelemy is mostly centered on the town with few people scattered in the rural areas. Out of Saint Barthelemy’s population of 7,209, Gustavia is home to approximately 2,300 people. Most of the residents in the capital are mainly descendants of Norman and Breton people who settled in the area during the 1600s.

Gustavia is often frequented by celebrities and the wealthy, especially during the Christmas and New Year periods. Some of the popular sites are Fort Karl and Fort Gustav which are popular for hiking. Other attractions include the Swedish consulate, Shell Beach Wall House, Lighthouse, Fort Oscar, Swedish Clock Tower, Le Ti-Marché, and the Gustavia Port Municipal Museum. Besides, due to the high number of tourists, Gustavia has restaurants serving a variety of French and Italian cuisines and many other different types of food. There are also a good number of prestigious boutiques such as villa Creole and high-class luxurious hotels that serve the visiting population and are a fundamental source of revenue for the island.

Gustavia has a tropical savanna climate with minor variations in temperature. The year is made up of two seasons: a dry season and a humid season. When this season starts, the ever-shining sun is dulled by short episodes of cloudbursts with brief showers for a few minutes. Gustavia’s small surface area puts it at an advantage of experiencing the pleasant breeze of the trade winds. The water and air temperatures have a mean of 27 °C.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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