St Lucia is one of the Windward Islands, named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse. It was first visited by Europeans around the year 1500 and colonised by France, who signed a treaty with the native Carib people in 1660. Great Britain took control of the island from 1663 to 1667, and then went to war with France over it fourteen times, finally taking complete control in 1814.
Representative government came about in 1924 (with universal adult suffrage from 1953), and from 1958 to 1962 the island was a member of the Federation of the West Indies. Finally, on February 22nd, 1979, St. Lucia became an independent state of the Commonwealth of Nations, which it celebrates annually with a public holiday.
St Lucia is a full and participating member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
St Lucia is one of the Windward isles of the Lesser Antilles, situated midway down the Eastern Caribbean chain between Martinique and St Vincent, just north of Barbados.
St Lucians or Lucians
English; however, a French Creole is widely spoken.
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It is only 27 miles (43km) long and 14 miles (23km) wide, shaped similarly to an avocado.
170,649 in 2007 (estimated)
The volcanic island of St Lucia is more mountainous than many other Caribbean islands, with the highest point being Mount Gimie, at 950 metres (3,120 ft) above sea level. Two other mountains, the Pitons, form the island’s most famous landmark. They are located between Soufrière and Choiseul on the western side of the island.
St Lucia is also one of the few islands in the world that boasts a drive-in volcano.
St Lucia was granted independence from UK in 1979.
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