DescriptionEstablished by the French in 1746, the quaint west coast village of Soufrière (soo-free-AIR) is actually a low-lying volcanic crater. The town derived its name from the bubbling pits of sulfur at the nearby volcano and sulfur springs. Once the flourishing French capital, Soufrière is now a sleepy fishing village characterized by traces of French Colonial architecture and black sand beaches.
Soufrière is perhaps most renowned as the home of the towering twin Pitons, volcanic peaks that spring forth majestically from the ocean to a height of more than a half-mile (.8 km). Gros Piton (2,619 ft./798 m) can be climbed by experienced hikers; Petit Piton (2,438 ft./743 m) is not considered safe to climb. Anse des Pitons, a picturesque bay, separates the Pitons.
The town's marketplace, especially active on Saturday, can be recognized by its charming gingerbread trim. Situated near the waterfront on Bay Street, the market offers fresh fruits and vegetables, spices and island crafts. Le Toc Battery, built in 1888, overlooks Castries Harbor. The military installation includes cartridge and shell stores, underground tunnels and an original 18-ton cannon.
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