Guadeloupe Facts

Guadeloupe Facts
Guadeloupe is a group of nine islands in the Caribbean, and an overseas department of the country France. The first European to land in Guadeloupe was Christopher Columbus, in 1493. He named it Santa Maria de Guadalupe de Extremadura, after the Virgin Mary's image in a monastery in Guadalupe, Extremadura. When Columbus briefly visited Guadeloupe, the Caribs (indigenous people) inhabited the area, and in the 1600s when Spanish settlers tried to take over they were repelled by the Carib. The French took control in 1674, but over the next 100 years the British gained control several times. In 1763 Guadeloupe was returned to France at the end of the Seven Years War. For almost the next two centuries control of Guadeloupe continued to change hands as a result of several invasions and rebellions. In 1946 it became an overseas department of France.
Interesting Guadeloupe Facts:
Guadeloupe is located in the Caribbean, with Antigua and Barbuda to the north and Dominica to the south.
Prior to Christopher Columbus' arrival Guadeloupe had been known as 'Karukera', which means, 'The Island of Beautiful Waters'.
Slavery was abolished in Guadeloupe until May 28th, 1848. It had been a major issue in the country for many years.
Guadeloupe includes several islands. The main two are Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre, often referred to as the twin islands. These two islands are separated by a narrow channel.
Guadeloupe also includes La Desirade, Marie-Galante, Iles des Saintes (2 islands), Iles de la Petite Terre, and part of the island Saint Martin.
The capital city of Guadeloupe is Basse-Terre. Its population is approximately 12,750.
The largest city in Guadeloupe is Pointe-a-Pitre and its population is approximately 133,000.
The population of Guadeloupe is approximately 405,500.
The currency used in Guadeloupe is the Euro, because the country is an overseas department of France.
Guadeloupe covers a total area of 687 square miles, with 659 square miles being land.
For tourists the best time to visit Guadeloupe is when it is warm and dry, usually between December and May. Between July and November it is especially hot, humid, and wet.
Guadeloupe is believed to have some of the best sites for scuba diving in the world.
Guadeloupe's official language is French, but Creole is also common and is considered to be the unofficial second language of Guadeloupe.
There is an active volcano in Guadeloupe called La Soufriere, on the island Basse-Terre.
Guadeloupe agricultural industry produces eggplant, bananas, cocoa, gourds, sugar cane, pomegranates, and jackfruit.
Christopher Columbus believed he had 'discovered' pineapples when he visited Guadeloupe. They had been growing for centuries in South America. He named the pineapple 'pina de Indias' which translates as 'pine cone of the Indies'.
Dishes in Guadeloupe commonly include seafood, and curry is included in some dishes as well.
Guadeloupe is susceptible to hurricanes because of its location. In 1929 Okeechobee killed thousands of inhabitants.
Tropical storms and hurricanes have destroyed many crops in Guadeloupe over the past century.
Guadeloupe's famous dance 'biguine' is a Creole dance still performed in colorful costume.

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