Located in the peak of a hill called “Mire” in “Terre de Haut Island”, “Napoléon Fort” was built in 1867. The name of the Fort comes from Napoléon III. Although it was a military fortress, “Napoléon Fort” rather served as a jail until the early twentieth century, so it still in good condition.
In 1973, the fortress became a museum thanks to “Les Saintes Association for the Heritage conservation”. With about 100 000 visitors a year, “Napoléon Fort” is now considered as the historical and cultural museum of “Les Saintes” and was listed historic monument in 1997. In the museum there are model boats, multiple items related to the sea and fishing, wooden huts, local furniture and crafts such as the traditional hat called “Salako”. The history of “Les Saintes” is also traced, particularly with the famous battle of “Les Saintes” which occurred in 1782. It’s possible having a guided tour of the Fort, with welcoming and friendly people coming from the Island.
Outside, there is a nice botanical garden with succulent plants such as cactus or aloe vera. “Napoléon Fort” overlooked the stunning bay of “Les Saintes” reaching 114 metres high. From the fort, you will have an extraordinary view of Dominica, Marie-Galante Island and Basse-Terre & Grande-Terre Island which form the butterfly-shaped island.