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Saint Barthelemy:
Geography

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Saint Barthelemy Page


Other pages in this profile of Saint Barthelemy:
People, Government, Economy, Communications & Transportation, Military & Transnational Issues.
Background
Definition
Discovered in 1493 by Christopher COLUMBUS who named it for his brother Bartolomeo, St. Barthelemy was first settled by the French in 1648. In 1784, the French sold the island to Sweden, who renamed the largest town Gustavia, after the Swedish King GUSTAV III, and made it a free port; the island prospered as a trade and supply center during the colonial wars of the 18th century. France repurchased the island in 1878 and placed it under the administration of Guadeloupe. St. Barthelemy retained its free port status along with various Swedish appelations such as Swedish street and town names, and the three-crown symbol on the coat of arms. In 2003, the populace of the island voted to secede from Guadeloupe and in 2007, the island became a French overseas collectivity.
Location
Definition
located approximately 125 miles northwest of Guadeloupe
Geographic coordinates
Definition
17 90 N, 62 85 W
Map references
Definition
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
Definition - World rank and map
21 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
less than an eighth of the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
Definition
0 km
Climate
Definition
tropical, with practically no variation in temperature; has two seasons (dry and humid)
Terrain
Definition
hilly, almost completely surrounded by shallow-water reefs, with 20 beaches
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Caribbean Ocean 0 m
highest point: Morne du Vitet 286 m
Natural resources
Definition
has few natural resouces, its beaches being the most important
Environment - current issues
Definition
with no natural rivers or streams, fresh water is in short supply, especially in summer, and provided by desalinization of sea water, collection of rain water, or imported via water tanker


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