Why Is Marigot The Capital of St. Martin?

Why Is Marigot The Capital of St. Martin?
Why Is Marigot The Capital of St. Martin?

Determining the capital of St. Martin is rather interesting. This is because the entire island is often referred to in English as ‘St. Martin, but only half of it really is. The other is technically called Sint Maarten. We are purely going to focus on the name St. Martin here. So, what is the capital of St. Martin?

The capital of St. Martin is Marigot. This sits in the French half of the island. The other capital city on the island is Philipsburg, which sits in Sint Maarten, the Dutch side of the island.

Let’s tell you a little bit more about Marigot, shall we?

What Is The Capital of St. Martin?

You don’t really need to know too much about the history of this island. However, let’s give you an overview. This is because some English speakers call the entirety of the island St. Martin when in reality just a small part of it is.

You have St. Martin. This is the French side of the island and is a collectivity of France. This means that it is part of France. The capital here, and the one that we are going to be focusing on throughout this page, is Marigot.

The bottom half of the island is Dutch. This is called Sint Maarten. While it is Dutch and comes under ‘The Kingdom of the Netherlands’, it is an independent country. The capital of this area is Philipsburg. While we would absolutely love to discuss Philipsburg with you here, we are afraid that is out of the scope of this page. 

Where Is The Capital of St. Martin Located?

Where Is The Capital of St. Martin Located?
Where Is The Capital of St. Martin Located?

Marigot is located to the west of the island. It is not a particularly big place, with a population of under 5,000 people.- However, as you can imagine, it is still an incredibly important place on the island. 

Brief History of Marigot

Marigot, Saint Martin town skyline from Fort Louis in the Caribbean.
Marigot, Saint Martin town skyline from Fort Louis in the Caribbean.

Marigot is located in an area that used to be pretty much all swamp. It was a rather sleepy fishing village at the time and, in some ways, it still is a rather sleepy fishing village. Not a whole lot happens here.

However, Marigot was also located in a great place for the defense of the island. It looked west, and British attacks were often coming from the west. Because of this, King Louis XVI (the last monarch of France) built Fort St. Louis.

As with the Dutch half of the island, the development of a fort resulted in a lot of people flocking to the area and the town growing. After all, there would be a ton of business coming from the military stationed in the fort, and people were always looking for jobs.

Unfortunately, the history of Marigot really ends there. It isn’t a place that has really come under attack all that often. It doesn’t have any major events happening there. It just…exists. Although to be fair, the entire island (including the Dutch half of the island) is tiny. There isn’t a huge amount of history throughout the entire place and it hasn’t played a major role in any conflict at any stage. I

When Did Marigot Become The Capital of St. Martin?

Luxury yachts and boats in the marina of Marigot, St Martin, Caribbean.
Luxury yachts and boats in the marina of Marigot, St Martin, Caribbean.

This is tough to determine. This is because, as near as we can tell, Marigot is just the assumed capital of St. Martin.

It has never been officially named as the capital of St. Martin. It just sort of ‘became’ the capital because King Louis XIV took a liking to it and the fact that a fort was built there.

We suppose that nobody ever really needed to name it the capital of the area. This is because St. Martin is not fully autonomous. It still falls under France (and is even part of the EU Zone). 

Why Is Marigot The Capital of St. Martin?

Again, we do not know the answer to this. We wish we did. We can take a guess, though.

It is likely that Marigot is the capital of St. Martin due to the fort being built there. This would have indicated that St. Martin was an important defensive settlement for the island.

Around this time, if something would have been important for the defense of the island, then it would have become the capital. A lot of trade would have happened around Marigot too, again, helping it to become the capital of the island.

Basically, this is something that happened naturally, but Marigot had everything that a small island’s capital really needed to have. 

Best Places To Visit in Marigot

Because Marigot is a tiny place, there isn’t a whole lot to do here. In fact, the entire island is more known for its natural beauty than top tourist destinations. Still, there are a couple of sights that you may want to see if you are taking a trip to Marigot.

Fort St. Louis

We have mentioned Fort St. Louis a couple of times over the course of this page. The Fort still stands, and you can go and explore it. However, don’t go expecting some grand military fort. While it does offer that, Fort St. Louis is more akin to a stately home. 

Marigot Market

The Marigot market happens a couple of times per week in the center of the city. Traders come to peddle their wares, and you can get up with some great deals. 

Marigot Lighthouse

Marigot Lighthouse isn’t a huge lighthouse, however, it is visually stunning. We love the architecture. It certainly wouldn’t be a full-day trip to explore it, but there is some stunning nature to see around. Plus, you have those beautiful views over the Caribbean waters. 

Loterie Farm 

While Loterie Farm is a working farm, the reason you will want to go is that it is a treetop adventure park (great for the kids). There is also a fantastic restaurant on the site. As you can expect from most places within St. Martin, Loterie Farm is surrounded by some absolutely stunning scenery. You will enjoy feasting in the restaurant and looking at it.

See Also

Capital Cities 

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!