Port-au-Prince is the capital of Haiti. Although it is the largest city in the country, Port-au-Prince has the characteristics of an important agricultural and port city.
Port-au Prince is located in the Gulf of Gon de Boi, a large harbor on the southwest coast of Hispaniola, the second largest island in the Caribbean.
When did Port-au-Prince Become the Capital?
The city’s history dates back to 1492, when Christoph Colomb discovered it. So much so that because of its natural port, which is a geographical gift, it is revealed that the Anawak-speaking Taino Indians carry on economic activity there. Colomb discovered the city and named the city ola Spain.
In 1697, a period of revolution began with the conquest of the west of Haiti by the French. This period started under the leadership of Toussaint L’Ouverture, was the stage of effective steps towards the abolition of independence and slavery and achieved its purpose by declaring its independence on 1 January 1804. Jean Jacques Dessalines, a former slave, declared himself emperor and made Port-au-Prince the capital of Haiti. Le Moniteur Haitien, who was elected president of the country on 16 April 1848, carried out a hybrid massacre in this city. For this reason, the city has many cultural and historical traces.
Features of Port-au-Prince
According to 2015 data of Port-au-Prince, it has a population of 987,310. Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, has an area of 36.04 square kilometers. The city has a warm and humid tropical climate. Due to the scattered mountains, valleys, plateaus and plains, the weather may vary from region to region, but the temperature is generally the same except in mountainous regions. Temperature ranging from 15 to 25 degrees in winter; In the summer it is between 25 and 35 degrees. From November to March, Port-au-Prince has its dryest season. From April to October, it is quite rainy.
Due to lack of sufficient forest and afforestation, these rains cause catastrophic floods. Since Haiti is part of the Caribbean hurricane zone, tropical storms and hurricanes occur from June to January.
While 12% of the country’s population lives here, 95% of this population is from African descent and the rest is Hispanic, Asian, European and Middle Eastern. In 2003, the public accepted the Voodoo faith as an official religion. However, Christianity is a common religion.
Due to the geological structure of the city, many earthquakes occur here. The closest example of this occurred on 12 January 2010. The death of 250,000 people in the 7.0 magnitude earthquake and the destruction of more than 97,000 buildings, including hospitals and the parliament building, officially stopped city life. Even though the vitality has been fulfilled in the years following the earthquake, the restructuring is still continuing.
Important Places to See in Port-au-Prince
Port-au-Prince, the center of the country’s political and intellectual life, is also home to the Haitian State University. Filled with various museums, natural parks, poor Voodoo houses, European night clubs, famous cafes and bakeries such as L’Estaminent or Patisserie Marie Beliard, this city is very interesting for tourists.
Due to its natural parks, tourist and symbolic sites, museums and shopping opportunities, the city contains many buildings. For a 1-hour glimpse into Haiti’s history, you can visit the Musee du Pantheon National Haitien, have fun at the Grand Rue Artists with its various sculptures, and bewitched by the Port-au-Prince Cathedral. Other attractions such as the Barbancourt Rum Factory, the Fort Jacques, the Champs de Mars, the Marche de Fer, the Parc Historique de la Canne a Sucre should be added to your list.