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800px-1758_Bellin_Map_of_Saint_Lucia_(Sainte_Lucie),_West_Indies_-_Geographicus_-_SaintLucia-bellin-1758Did you know the 1758 and 1763 maps mark the leeward side of St. Lucia as the Basse Terre, and the windward side as the Cabes Terre? These expressions are found in early accounts of French colonies in the Antilles.

In A. D. 1666, French monk/missionary Jean-Baptiste Du Tertre has la Basseterre and la Capsterre in speaking of Dominica. It has been said that Capsterre derives from Caput terrae, the latin for head or top of the land. The early colonists or navigators, arriving from Europe would have sighted the tops of the mountains or hills to the east or windward of the Islands of the Antilles before anything else.

They would have called that side of the islands Capsterre in the course of time, and eventually Cabes Terre. To the generally lower, leeward side they would have given the name Basse Terre.

Source: St. Lucia: The Romance of its Place Names by Rev. Fr. Charles Jesse – 1966

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Did you know Basseterre is the capital of St. Kitts, while Basse-Terre is the capital of

Guadeloupe?

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