Le Diamant

Overview

Introduction

The name Le Diamant (The Diamond) refers to two places. One is a rocky island that rises out of the sea about 2 mi/3 km off the southwest coast of Martinique's main island. In the 1700s, the rock was fortified and used as a British military outpost, the HMS Diamond Rock. It is said that British sailors still stand at attention and salute when their ship passes the rock. Today, it's home to many birds, and it's a popular dive site.

The other Le Diamant is a small, picturesque village on the main island that has a view of its namesake rock. Near the village, facing the offshore island, sit 15 solemn statues made of concrete, sand and gravel. They are the work of Martinique sculptor Laurent Valere. This monument, known as Memorial de l'Anse Caffard, pays homage to the lives lost when a ship transporting slaves approached the rock in rough seas and sank in April 1830. The statues are definitely worth a stop if you're driving along the southwest coast.

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