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Marie-Galante, history, Château Murat

Château Murat, constructed in 1814 in Marie-Galante

MARIE-GALANTE / A Brief History

Originally called "Kalina" by the Arawak Indians, the island was "discovered" by Columbus on November 3, 1493 and renamed after his flagship Santa Maria La Galante. For more than three centuries, Carib Indians, French, English and Dutch fought for its treasures. In the 19th century, it finally became French and began to focus its economy on the cultivation of sugar cane. At its zenith, there were over one hundred windmills in operation on the island. Today, sugar production remains as the principal industry while the island's distilleries produce a potent, high quality rum that is famous throughout the Caribbean. Fishing and tourism are secondary factors in the local economy.

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