Gazing Out At Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe

Morne Mire is aptly-named. The steeply sloping hill stretching 351 feet above the northern environs of Terre-de-Haut in Guadeloupe’s idyllic Îles des Saintes were adjudged to be an ideal defense post by French military planners who crowned the peak with a fort here in the early-1800s. That fort, named Fort Louis, was destroyed by the English in 1809. Its replacement, Fort Napoleon, debuted in 1867. Unlike its predecessor, though, Fort Napoleon never saw any military action, its soldiers and the convicts interned here when it was later converted into a penitentiary blessed, or cursed as the case may have been, by the same beautiful “mire,” or sight, of La Grande Soufrière volcano and the southeast coast of Basse-Terre on mainland Guadeloupe that visitors like these enjoy today.

Last updated by Steve Bennett on .