Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Saint Barthélemy

Another card that drew a smile on my face today is a view from Gustavo,  the capital of Saint Barthélemy, a bran-new country in my collection! Saint Barthélemy (often abbreviated to St. Barts or St. Barths in English) is a volcanic island that form an overseas collectivity of France. It lies about 35 km southeast of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin in the Caribbean. There is only about 9000 inhabitants on the  area of 22 km² of the island (January 2009 census).
The collectivity is one of four territories among the Leeward Islands in the northeastern Caribbean that comprise the French West Indies, along with Saint Martin, Guadeloupe (200 km southeast) and Martinique. Saint Barthélemy was for many years a French commune forming part of Guadeloupe, which is an overseas région and département of France and is therefore in the European Union.
Gustavo, that can bee seen on the postcard, is the capital, as I mentioned before. The Swedes renamed it as Gustavia in honour of their king Gustav III (St. Barts is the only Caribbean island which was a Swedish colony for any significant length of time - symbolism from the Swedish national arms, the Three Crowns, still appears in the island's coat of arms).
The island is a popular tourist destination during the winter holiday season, especially the rich and famous during the Christmas and New Year period.

Many thanks to Victor, who visited the island and found some time to write a card for me!

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