The Caribbean Island of Saint Barthélemy
Saint Barthélemy (French: Saint-Barthélemy; French pronunciation:
[sɛ̃barteləˈmi], Swedish: Sankt Barthelemy), officially the Collectivity of Saint Barthélemy
(French: Collectivité de Saint-Barthélemy), is an overseas collectivity of France. To the northwest
lies St. Martin, to the southwest Saba, to the south St. Eustatius and St. Kitts, and ultimately to
the southeast Barbuda.
It has an area of 21 km² and a population of 8,398 (census 2006). Its capital is Gustavia, which
is also its main harbor. Also known as Saint Barth in French, or St. Barts in English, the
collectivity is one of the four territories among the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean that
comprise the French West Indies, along with Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Martin. It is the only
one to have historically been a Swedish colony. The Swedish influence can still be found in
architecture and street names. The language, cuisine and culture are distinctly French.
Saint Barthélemy was first claimed by France, in 1648. It was sold to Sweden in 1784, which sold
it back to France in 1878. Slavery was practiced in Saint-Barthélemy under the "Ordinance
concerning the Police of Slaves and free Colored People" of 1787. The last legally owned slaves
in the Swedish colony of Saint-Barthélemy were bought free by the state on 9 October 1847. The
Swedish period left its mark in the names of many of the streets and the town (in honor of King
Gustav III), and the presence of Sweden's national arms, the Three Crowns in the island's coat of
arms, along with the Maltese cross, the Fleur-de-lis, the mural crown, two pelicans, and the
island's supposed Amerindian name "OUANALAO".
Transportation in Saint Barth
Saint Barthhas a small airport known
as Gustaf III Airport (IATA: SBH, ICAO: TFFJ) that is served by small regional commercial aircraft
and charters. Most visiting aircraft carry fewer than twenty passengers, such as the Twin Otter, a
common sight around Saint Barth and throughout the northern West Indies. The short airstrip is at
the base of a gentle slope ending directly on the beach at St Jean. The arrival descent is over the
hilltop traffic circle and departing planes fly right over the heads of sunbathers on St. Jean
Beach (although small signs advise sunbathers not to lie directly at the end of the runway). Due to
the close proximity of arriving and departing planes, either location is ideal for viewing by
aircraft enthusiasts. The nearest commercial jet airport is on the neighboring island of Sint
Maarten: Princess Juliana International Airport (IATA: SXM, ICAO: TNCM).
Ferries to and from Saint Maarten are the only other real
option (although the passage from St. Martin to St. Barth is often rough), unless one is arriving
by private charter boats/yachts.
average between 76-88°F (24-32°C), with constant cooling breezes. Rainfall is a little more common
from July to November.
St. Barts Flag
St. Barts is a part of the
French overseas department of Guadeloupe, and therefore flies the flag of France.
The French national flag - the tricolore - consists of three vertical bands of equal width,
displaying the country's national colors: blue, white and red. The blue band is positioned nearest
the flag-staff, the white in the middle, and the red on the outside.
Red, white and blue have come to represent liberty, equality and fraternity - the ideals of the
French Revolution. Blue and red are also the time-honored colors of Paris, while white is the color
of the Royal House of Bourbon.
Things To Do In St. Barts
When in St. Barths, kicking back on the idyllic plages (beaches). Nonetheless, a number of
activities - from the museums and historical forts of Gustavia, water and land sports
Explore the harbor Tiptoe gracefully around
Gustavia’s perfect harbor for views of the water and the fishing dinghies that bob like toy boats
alongside leviathan yachts. The waterfront decks of the dozens of restaurants here offer wonderful
vantage points for people- and yacht-watching. Gustavia
Musée Municipal and Musée de St. Barthélemy
On the far “La Pointe” side of the Gustavia harbor, a beautifully restored Swedish stone building
houses these two museums. The various displays range from photos to costumes to artifacts,
all of which depict island history from the indigenous Arawak indians through to the colonial
tugs-of-war between the Swedes and the French.
Fort Gustave While some original
fortification artifacts remain at this 17th-century fort, easily recognizable by the red-and-white
lighthouse added in 1961, most people come for the stellar harbor views. An orientation table
identifies the highlights of Gustavia and the neighboring islands. Gustavia
Snorkeling There’s fine snorkeling west of
the Eden Rock promontory on Baie de St-Jean - strap on some goggles and a mouthpiece and head out
to see Elkhorn coral, barrel sponges, sea fans, angelfish, and yes, lobster. Marine Service, Quai
du Yacht Club
Windsurfing Grand Cul de Sac, with its
shallow, calm waters and plentiful water-sports concessions is one of the best places on the island
for windsurfing. Windwave Power,
Inter-Oceans Museum Ingenú Magras, the
president of the acclaimed French organization, the National Society for Rescue at Sea, has his
hobby-obsession on display here. An incredible collection of more than 9,000 seashells (1,600
species from the Caribbean basin), as well as sand samples from around the globe, have been
Getting Married in St. Barts
St. Barts Legal requirements for getting
St. Barts is one of the perfect place to get Married, if you dont mind the long
waiting period, there are many magical places on the island. Gustavia is a charming town and of
course there are many villas to chose from to hold your reception, as well as a number of charming
hotels and villas where you can spend your honeymoon. There are lots of lovely locations for a
wedding and reception overlooking the startlingly blue waters of the Caribbean. Friendly hotel
staffs will provide all the necessary assistance, which will brings the final decision down to
size, budget and your personal preferences.
requirements : St. Barts, like
other members of the French West Indies, is perfect for your i do's, however the waiting period is
a little lengthy.
Requirements: Original birth
certificate or copy with raised seal; certificate of good conduct; certificate of single
standing; residency card; medical certificate issued within 3 months of event; French translation
of English all language documents.
Blood test required.
There is no cost and waiting Period: 1 person in the couple must be a resident for 30 days -
residency card is required.