Castries: Wikis

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Castries
—  City  —
View of the port of Castries
Castries
Motto: Statio Haud Malefida Carinis  ("A Safe Harbour for Ships")[1]
Map of Castries Quarter, the district containing the city of Castries
The Quarter of Castries, showing Castries city (red dot)
Coordinates: 14°01′N 60°59′W / 14.017°N 60.983°W / 14.017; -60.983
Country  Saint Lucia
Quarter Castries Quarter
Founded 1650 as "Carenage"
Renamed 1756 as "Castries"
Founder the French
Named for Charles Eugène Gabriel de La Croix, marquis de Castries
Government
 - Governing body Castries City Council
Area
 - Total 79 km2 (30.5 sq mi)
Elevation [2] 2 m (6.56 ft)
Population (2001)
 - Total 61,341
 Density 776.5/km2 (2,011.2/sq mi)
 - Estimate 2004[3] 67,000
Time zone Eastern Caribbean Time Zone (ECT) (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 758
HDI (2006) 0.814 – high

Castries (pronounced /ˈkæstriːz/), population 10,634, aggl. 37,963 (2001-05-12), is the capital city of Saint Lucia, a country in the West Indies. The district with the same name had a population of 61,341 in 2001-05-22, and stretches over an area of 30.5 square miles (79 km2).

Castries is located in a flood gut and is actually built on reclaimed land. It houses the seat of government and the head offices of many of the businesses both foreign and local. The city's design is in a grid pattern similar to a metropolitan city like New York but on a much smaller scale. It has a sheltered harbour which receives cargo vessels and ferry boats as well as cruise ships. It contains duty free shopping facilities such as Point Seraphine and La Place Carinage; many restaurants which offer varied menus from local to Chinese; supermarkets and many other shopping facilities. The city is well serviced by a bus system and taxi service.

St Lucia's main post office is located in Castries. Because most parts of the country do not use standard street addresses, mail is largely sent to P.O. boxes. Any mail sent without a town name ends up in the Castries post office.

Contents

Tourism

Some houses on the hill, taken from a patio
View of Castries Saint Lucia Day248bdriveb.jpg

One of the major tourist areas in St. Lucia, Castries is a port of call for cruise ships. Cruise ships dock at Pointe Seraphine, to the north of the harbour which is also a duty free shopping centre. A taxi service is readily available to take you on tours of the rest of the country or the city. There is also a water taxi available to take you from there to the city as well. The greatest concentration of hotels, resorts, and restaurants are near Castries and the island's other main towns, Gros Islet, Soufrière, and Rodney Bay. The city maintains three tourist offices, and one in the airport. There are also many duty free shops within the town itself and several restaurants and other eating establishments including Burger King, Dominoes and KFC.

Castries has a few landmarks such as the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Derek Walcott Square (named after the island's Nobel Prize-winning poet, Derek Walcott; before that it was named Columbus Square), the City Library, the Government House, and Fort Charlotte, at the top of Morne Fortune (an 845-foot hill) to name a few.

One of the major draws for tourists to St. Lucia is its beaches, and there are several in or very near Castries. Vigie Beach, Malabar Beach, Choc Beach, and La Toc Beach are all within easy reach.

Transport

Day246acastriesg.JPG
Fire Station Castries.jpg

Castries is served by George F. L. Charles Airport, also known as Vigie Airport. Passengers on longer flights arrive at Hewanorra International Airport, near Vieux-Fort. However, the drive between Hewanorra and Castries can take an hour and a half. Helicopter service between the two airports shortens travel time.

Ferries run between Castries and Fort-de-France, Martinique. Yachts may also dock in Castries, though they must clear customs first. When the customs area is full, yachts must anchor at the quarantine dock to wait. Those who don't comply are fined. Afterward, yachts may anchor in front of Castries Town or Vigie Creek.

Standard bus routes run from Castries to all the outlying districts on the island. These buses can be identified by their green license plates with the numbers starting with an M example M456. There are designated areas where you can see these buses lined up awaiting passengers to take them to their destinations. On the front of these buses is what is called a "Route Band". It is luminescent and contains the words Route 1A or 1B.To get to other areas of the island, one can use these buses or the taxi service which have blue plates. The private minivan buses offer transportation from bus stops, or simply by being flagged down on the roadside.

Political institutions

As well as being the capital city of Saint Lucia, Castries hosts the secretariat of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. Castries also hosts the headquarters of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

In October 2008, the American Chamber of Commerce, Saint Lucia, was established. The establishment of a chamber was encouraged by the U.S. Embassy, Barbados. Hugh W. Jones was elected and installed as its first President.

A number of international embassies and consulates keep their headquarters in Castries. They include the Organization of American States, British High Commission, Mexican Embassy, Embassy of The Republic of China (Taiwan) (in Rodney Bay), Dominican Republic Consulate, French Embassy, Italian Vice Consulate, Jamaican Consulate, Netherlands Consulate, Norwegian Consulate, and Venezuelan Embassy.

Panorama of the Port of Castries from Morne Fortune

See also

References

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Castries is the capital city of Saint Lucia. Founded by the French in 1650, Castires now has a population of just over 11,000.

The view over Castries harbour from the viewing point just below Government House.
The view over Castries harbour from the viewing point just below Government House.

Of itself, Castries doesn't have a huge amount to offer visitors, and it's usually just a place that you'll pass through on your way to the more obvious attractions of Saint Lucia.

Even though Castries doesn't have much to offer, you can usually find a fair number of tourists wandering about the place, as the cruise ships that visit Saint Lucia dock at Pointe Seraphine, in the northern part of the city.

Understand

There is a tourist information office, a 15 minute walk from the town centre in the cruise ship dock at Pointe Seraphine.

Free maps are available from the information desk in the La Place Carenage mall on Jeremie Street, just along from the St.Lucia Fire Service building.

  • George FL Charles Airport (SLU) is just outside of Castries. See the Saint Lucia#Get_in section for more information.

By boat

Many visitors will come into Castries on the cruise ships that dock at Point Seraphine.

For details on the ferries that operate from Castries, see the Saint Lucia#Get_in section.

There is actually an anchorage for sailing boats in Castries harbour, although most visitors on sailing boats tend to dock at Rodney Bay Marina, just outside of Gros Islet and then get a bus or taxi in.

Get around

By bus

These provide a cheap and fun way of getting around:

  • wander around the lively local market on Jeremie Street.
  • visit the viewing point over the harbour, at Morne Fortune, just below Government House.
  • take a bus or taxi to Marigot Bay, where the 1967 film Dr. Doolittle was filmed.
  • relax in Derek Walcott Square.
  • top up your suntan on Vigie beach.

Buy

There duty free shops in Pointe Seraphine, where the cruise ships dock, and also in La Place Carenage mall on Jeremie Street.

For more local goods, the busy market on Jeremie Street is worth a visit.

Eat

There are cheap local eatries in a small alley that runs alongside the market and down to Jeremie Street.

A friendly and cheap cafe selling local food is on the first floor of a building on Derek Walcott square.

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

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Wikipedia

Proper noun

Castries

  1. The capital city of Saint Lucia

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