Martinique: Mount Pele & St Pierre

The landscape of Martinique is dominated by an active volcano, Mount Pele, in the north of the island. This 4,583 feet conical stratovolcano exploded violently in 1902, raining rocks and ash on the former Martinique capital of St Pierre located at its foothills. This is known as the worst volcanic eruption of the 20th century. All 30,000 residents except two (a prisoner in a deep underground dungeon and a farmer on the outskirts) were killed within minutes and the town completely destroyed. It’s been rebuilt since but the capital was moved south to Fort-de-France. St Pierre is now a beautiful town with a spectacular black sand beachfront and a grand volcano looming in the background.