A home for art lovers in the heart of the Caribbean

Cruises visitors to Guadeloupe can enjoy the islands’ history and culture at Pointe-à-Pitre’s open-air art gallery

A home for art lovers in the heart of the Caribbean
Local artists have adorned the city with murals and sculptures that comment on political and social issues

Situated in the heart of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean is Pointe-à-Pitre, the capital of Guadeloupean island Grande-Terre. The city reportedly owes its name to a Dutch fisherman – Peter – who settled in the harbour in the 17th century to sell fish.  

The city’s rich heritage has become well-known, so much so that it is now labelled Ville d’Art et d’Histoire – a town of art and history. The local community and government actively engage in initiatives that promote knowledge, conservation, mediation and support for the culturally important architecture, heritage and the living environment of the city.  

As a result, Pointe-à-Pitre has been able to adapt to the different artistic movements of recent years. Street art and sculptures have found their place here and give new life to the alleys, walls and forgotten corners. Embracing this form of art has transformed the city into an open-air gallery that is accessible to all. 

In addition to bringing infinite colours and artistic beauty to the city, local artists use the murals and sculptures to express themselves and create thought-provoking pieces that comment on political and social issues. These works address themes specific to Guadeloupean identity, in particular praising ‘the woman’, considered a central element in society, nurturing mother and protector of the home.  

Some of the main art-adorned streets lie just a short walk from Pointe-à-Pitre’s cruise terminal, inviting visitors to discover the history of the island and interpret the messages of these original pieces during their call in the city.

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2022 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.   

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Elly Yates-Roberts
By Elly Yates-Roberts
28 October 2022

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