La Savane Park (La Savane des Esclaves)#7 in Best Things To Do in Martinique
Price & Hours
You should brush up on your French before visiting Fort-de-France's beautiful La Savane park (La Savane des Esclaves), then put your vocabulary to use when bargaining with the Martiniquais vendors selling snacks, crafts and souvenirs. Take a stroll of the grounds before you leave, and be sure to snap a photo of the headless (and red-stained) marble statue of Empress Josephine, a Martinique native and the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. Rumor has it that locals vandalized the statue out of resentment; they believe Josephine persuaded Bonaparte to continue the practice of slavery on the island.
La Savane des Esclaves is open daily from 9 a.m. to noon and from 2 p.m. to 5:30, except Sundays when the center closes for the afternoon. Guided one-hour tours (in French, only) are available, as well, and cost 7 euros for adults (about $8) and 3 euros (about $3) for children ages 3 to 12.
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#1 Anse Cafard Slave Memorial
High on a hill in southwest Martinique are 20 white stone effigies, silently facing Diamond Beach and the Caribbean Sea. They commemorate an 1830 catastrophe when a slave ship failed to properly anchor in Anse Cafard and careened into Martinique's Diamond Rock Mountain, killing many of the passengers and sailors as well as the slaves who were chained to the cargo hold. The chilling statues at this memorial are a popular stop and photo op for many, and although the monument has suffered some wear and tear, you too won't be disappointed with the overall effect.
Recent visitors say the simple memorial is quite sobering, with one calling it simultaneously "humbling and beautiful." Others appreciated that there are signs posted in both French and Enlish at the site that explain the significance of the memorial.
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