Saint Barthélemy

Saint Barthélemy (French: Saint-Barthélemy, ), officially the Territorial collectivity of Saint Barthélemy (French: Collectivité territoriale de Saint-Barthélemy), is an overseas collectivity of France. Often abbreviated to Saint-Barth in French, or St. Barts (also, St. Barth's) in English, the indigenous people called the island Ouanalao.

The collectivity is one of four territories among the Leeward Islands in the northeastern Caribbean that comprise the French West Indies, along with Guadeloupe (200 km southeast), Martinique and Saint Martin. St. Barts lies about 35 km (21.75 mi) southeast of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, and north of St. Kitts. Puerto Rico is 240 km (149.1 mi) to its west in the Lesser Antilles.

Saint Barthélemy, a volcanic island fully encircled by shallow reefs, has an area of 22.1 km² (8.5 mi²) and a population of 8,902 (Jan. 2009 census). Its capital is Gustavia, which also contains the main harbour to the island. It is the only Caribbean island which was a Swedish colony for any significant length of time; Guadeloupe was under Swedish rule only briefly, at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Symbolism from the Swedish national arms, the Three Crowns, still appears in the island's coat of arms. The language, cuisine and culture, however, are distinctly French. The island is a popular tourist destination during the winter holiday season, especially the rich and famous during the Christmas and New Year period.

Read more about Saint Barthélemy:  Etymology, History, Geography, Demographics, Politics and Government, Economy, Education, Landmarks and Architecture, Transport, Media, Health Facilities, Notable People

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