Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis

Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis

According to abbreviationfinder, Basseterre is the capital of Saint Kitts and Nevis and of the parish of Saint George Basseterre. It has an estimated population of 19,000 residents (according to the 2001 census). The city is located on the Island of San Cristóbal, and is one of the main commercial deposits of the Leeward Islands.


Basseterre was founded by the French in 1627. Its name in French means Lowland.

Between 1639 and 1660 during the De Poincy government, the city was strategically located in an area that allowed it to develop an important port activity, however Basseterre is also on the path of hurricanes and a seismic zone for which it is periodically hit by these natural phenomena.

In 1876 the city suffered one of its most catastrophic years, as it was not only harassed and devastated by natural phenomena but it was also the victim of a fire that reduced the city to ashes; It is for this reason that many of the French buildings disappeared from the city map, although there is still a small vestige of these as the Georgian House located in the Independence Square.


The city of Basseterre is located south of the island of San Cristóbal in the Caribbean Sea, specifically between the coordinates 17 ° 17 ‘N and 62 ° 44’ W.


The city’s climate is tropical, very pleasant for the flourishing of tourism, as well as for the development and reproduction of the typical flora of the region, which has exuberant vegetation, volcanic mountains, tropical forests and sugar cane fields, which it constitutes one of the largest sources of employment.


Basseterre has an estimated population of 19,000 residents (according to the 2001 census). See population of St. Kitts and Nevis.


The development of tourism is the fundamental economic activity, which displaced the production and refining of sugar that was the main industry in the town until 2005.

Culture and tourism

The city has a French and English colonial past, which constitute one of its greatest tourist attractions. Among the greatest legacies of the English to the city are museums, cathedrals, squares and forts.

Emblematic places of the city

  • Plaza de la Independencia, where the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Catholic) is also located.
  • Anglican Church of St. George.
  • Fort Brimstone Hill, (entirely of black stone).
  • Orthogonal Circus square.
  • City markets and craft fairs.

Saint Kitts and Nevis


At the time of the European discovery, the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis were inhabited by the Caribs. Christopher Columbus landed on the largest island in 1493, on his second voyage, and called it “San Cristóbal”, his patron. Columbus also discovered Nieves on his second trip, calling it that because of its resemblance to a snowy mountain (in Spanish it was called “Nuestra Señora de las Nieves”). European colonization did not begin until 1623 -24, when first the English, and then the French, arrived on the island of Saint Kitts, whose name was shortened by the English to Saint Kitts. Because it was the first English colony in the Caribbean, San Cristóbal served as the base for the future colonization of the region.

From 1628 to 1713 it was occupied by the English and the French at the same time, then it became part of Great Britain. In 1967 it became a free state associated with the United Kingdom, reaching absolute independence on September 19, 1983.

During the 17th century, intermittent warfare between French and English settlers devastated the island’s economy. Meanwhile Nieves, colonized by the English in 1628, was growing prosperously under British law. Saint Kitts was ceded to Great Britain in the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713. The French occupied Saint Kitts and Nevis in 1782.

The Treaty of Versailles (1783) returned both islands definitively to Great Britain. The islands were part of the colony of the Leeward Islands from 1871 to 1956, and of the Federation of the West Indies from 1958 to 1962. In 1967, together with Anguilla, it became a free state associated with the United Kingdom; Anguilla became part of the British Overseas Territories. The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis achieved complete independence on September 19, 1983.

In August of 1998 there was a referendum in Nevis to decide on the separation of San Cristobal which lacked the two – thirds needed for a majority. Then in September of 1998, the Hurricane George (Jorge) caused approximately $ 445 million in damages and limited the growth of the GDP for that year.


Traditional music

The most well-known class of folk music is seasonal songs, although sailor songs and other Christmas songs are also spread. Music is also a part of the tea gatherings that are common on the island, featuring a couple of raucous male singers in a competitive class of performance in which interrupters play an important role.

Carnival music

The carnival in Saint Kitts and Nevis offers absolutely prominent music. The big drum and string bands accompany popular performers. Other instruments include the Shack-Shack (a tin can with beads inside), the Baha (a blown metal pipe), the triangle, the fife, the guitar and the quarter.

Iron bands were introduced to the Saint Kitts and Nevis Carnival in the 1940s, when makeshift percussion instruments of the likes of car rims were used on these. Collaborative ensembles of local musicians were formed during this era, playing drums, saxophone bass guitars, and trumpets; These included the “Ritmo de la Plata” orchestra, the “Queen of Brown”, the “Manufacturers of Music”, “Esperanza” and “Kings of Rhythm”.

Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis

About the author