its unspoiled beauty and its unique creole culture St. Lucia has French
Flavour and it is very popular with North Americans and Europeans. The
volcanic island of St. Lucia size is 620 km² with an
estimated population of 160,000. Its capital is Castries, where about
one third of the population lives.
The official language is English, but a creole language called
Antillean Creole is spoken by 80% of the population and is getting
increasing usage and official recognition. As a Commonwealth realm,
Saint Lucia recognizes Queen Elizabeth II
as the Head of State of Saint Lucia,
represented on the island by a Governor-General. Executive power, however, is in the hands
of the prime minister and his cabinet.
Lucia island is more mountainous than many other Caribbean islands and
is dominated by the peaks of over 3000 ft. volcanic mountains (the
highest point being Mount Gimie, at 950 metres or 3,120 ft.
above sea level). Two other mountains called The Pitons are the
most famous landmarks on the island. The another popular landmark is a
nearby Soufriere - the world's
"drive-in" volcano. Other tourist attractions include the Botanical Gardens, the rain forests and
Pigeon Island National Park, which is home to Fort Rodney, an old
British military base.
This proud island nation has been the home
of two Nobel laureates, Arthur Lewis
and Derek Walcott, and so can claim the distinction of being the nation
with the most such honorees per capita in the world.