Monday, January 11, 2016

Saint-Pierre and Mt. Pelée

Here in Saint-Pierre, Martinique the volcano named Mt. Pelée looms over the town as it has for hundreds of years. On May 8, 1902 it erupted and annihilated this "Paris of the West Indies" killing almost 30,000 people.
The remains of the theatre are a popular attraction. A truly grand building rose three stories above this courtyard. Its design was based on the theatre in Bordeaux, France.

More intriguing is the fact that at least one person survived the blast. Auguste Cyparis was in this prison cell, incarcerated the night before for participating in a bar fight. He was severely burned, but recovered and went on to tour the United States with Barnum and Bailey's Circus for many years as "The Man Who Lived Through Doomsday".


All over town one can see remnants of the old walls, artwork featuring the date "1902", and references to the volcano. I found these red panels interesting. Line after line speaks of volcanos.

We hiked up to a hill above the town where we got this view of the town and the volcano, wreathed in clouds, four miles away.
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