Trip to St Martin
St Martin would be discovered by Christopher Columbus during his expedition of 1493. He baptized it Saint-Martin, in honor of Saint-Martin de Tours, because the day he saw the island for the first time was the November 11, coinciding with the celebration of the saint. The climate is warm and sunny all year round, with moderate rainfall evenly throughout the year.
History of St Martin
Once mapped, St Martin is immediately claimed by the Dutch and the French. The Dutch saw it as a good starting point to connect their American colonies known today as New York, and their then Brazilian colonies. The French had colonies in Trinidad and Bermuda, and also wanted to colonize the islands in between. St Martin remained largely uninhabited until the Dutch officially founded a colony in 1631, erecting Fort Amsterdam on the promontory near present-day Philipsburg. Over the next century, small conflicts altered the border 16 times, until the current border was established. However, the border was never really enforced, and islanders have always been free to travel on both sides, a benefit that tourists also enjoy today.
The cultural richness of St Martin
The many tensions between foreign powers, the numerous invasions and colonizations have had an enormous impact on the demography and the cultural composition of the country. The culture of St Martin is a blend of Dutch, French, British and African heritage. The indigenous Creole population has its roots in Africa, since its ancestors were brought in because of the slave trade to work on the plantations. English and Dutch are the two official languages. One-third of the population is Roman Catholic, and there are smaller but significant proportions of Pentecostals and Methodists. There are also Adventists and Hindus.
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Why isSaint Maarten divided into two sections?
What is the best time of year to go to Saint Maarten in the Caribbean?
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Who owns the island of Saint Maarten?
Who discovered the island of Saint Maarten?