St Lucia Facts
St Lucia is one of a group of islands known as the Windward Islands. Other islands in the group include Grenada, Martinique and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Amerindian Arawak and Carib people were early settlers in St Lucia. They called St Lucia the Island of the Iguanas (Iouanalao and Hewanorra).
The international airport in St Lucia is called Hewanorra.
St. Lucia is twenty-eight miles long and thirteen miles wide.
The highest point in St Lucia is Mount Gimie (950 m).
St Lucia is famous for the Pitons, Gros Piton and Petit Piton, twin volcanic peaks which rise from the sea.
The Pitons Management Area, which contains much of a collapsed stratovolcano known as the Soufriere Volcanic Centre, became a World Heritage Site in 2004.
Vieux Fort (old fort) was first built by the Dutch around 1600.
In the early seventeenth century the French established a colony in St. Lucia.
The Soufriere Estate was granted to the Devaux family by King Louis XIV in 1713.
The town of Soufriere was built by the French in 1746.
St Lucia was ceded to the United Kingdom in 1814.
The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act (1807) prohibited the slave trade within the British Empire. (Slaves in the British colonies did not gain their freedom until the 1830s. The 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act began the process leading to emancipation).
St Lucia became self-governing in internal affairs in 1967.
In 1979 St Lucia gained its independence.
John Compton was St Lucia's first prime minister.
The Head of State of St Lucia is the British monarch, represented by a Governor General.
St Lucia is a member of the UK's Commonwealth.
Sir Arthur Lewis, who was born in St Lucia in 1915, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1979.
Derek Walcott, born in Castries in 1930, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992.
Hurricane Allen caused devastation in St Lucia in 1980.
In November 1999 Hurricane Lenny caused damage in St Lucia totalling around seventeen thousand East Caribbean dollars.
In 2004 St Lucia’s volcanic twin peaks - the Pitons - were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.