The colonial town of St. Pierre, on Martinique’s west coast, has a colorful past. Rich from the earnings of the sugar and rum trades, it was once considered the Paris of the Caribbean—until 1902, when it was destroyed by the violent eruption of the island’s largest volcano, Mount Pelée. A volcano museum in St. Pierre displays items plucked from the rubble and historic photos of the town before and immediately after the eruption. Today, the fine church with historic displays bears testament to the town’s comeback.

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