Not far from the Pitons, Soufrière is a charming town bypassed by history. It was established as the island’s original capital by the French (Josephine Bonaparte spent much of her childhood here), though the British moved the government to Castries when they conquered the island in 1803. (St. Lucia changed hands between the French and the British a total of 14 times between 1660 and 1814.) Nearby is the Soufrière volcano where visitors can walk through the steaming crater and the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens on the Soufrière Estate, which dates back to 1713 when Louis XIV granted the land to the Devaux brothers.
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