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Cap-Haitien: The Historical City

The Cathedral of Cap-Haitien

Located on Haiti's North coast facing the Atlantic ocean, Cap-Haitien is the second largest city of Haiti with a population of 190,000 people. Founded in 1670 on an area that ought to be a Taino village called Guarico, the modest town of the filibusters of “Haut-du-Cap” was officially classified as colonial city of the French possessions of the New World in 1711.


In the 17th Century, Cap-Haitien became the richest colony of the World based upon an extensive labor exploitation in the fields. It became the “Paris of the Caribbeans.” In 1791, black slave leaders launched an uprising and razed the fields and houses of the city.

By 1802, the revolt soared to a full-fledged war for independence involving more than one year of bloodshed.


Today, the city of Cap-Haitien - although defaced with disorderly urbanization and aggressive constructions - is a harbor town that has retained the charm of yesteryear with its colonial architectures and houses painted with tender colors. Some date back to the time of King Henry Christophe along with the narrow streets, in the 19 th century.

Haiti's Hidden Treasures

DVD Documentary

Part 1: $15.00

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Haiti's Hidden Treasures

DVD Documentary

Part II: $20.00

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Usually ship within 24 hours.

One of the most beautiful monuments in the city is the 18th century Cathedral above with its silvered dome. It was rebuilt after a powerful earthquake in 1842. The ruins of King Henri Christophe Sans-Souci palace still remain a must-see. The presence of King Henri Christophe dominates the bay of Cap-Haitien with the impressive mass of the Citadelle Fortress erected at approximately 3,000 feet.


There are plenty of attractions in Cap-Haitien that can satisfy one's curiosity. While staying at Beau-Rivage hotel on Carénage boulevard, visitors can enjoy the “Place d'Armes” of Cap-Haitien located across the Cathedral Notre-Dame. Barriere-Bouteille, the entrance to Cap-Haitien's historical city. The monument of Vertières where the final battle for Haiti's Independence were fought between Dessalines's indigenous army and France's colonial forces on November 18, 1803. There are comfortable and affordable hotels along with spectacular beaches easily accessible in Cap-Haitien. Rival beach is minutes away, followed by Cormier Beach Resort and the Labadie-Coco beach conveniently located to offer a day of sunshine and swimming.

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Cormier Beach

The city of Cap-Haitien is definitely the centerpiece of Haitian History. You can indeed experience it through the awe-inspiring dvd documentary of Patrick Dorsainvil Haiti's Hidden Treasures II above. Since 1995, Cap-Haitien has been classified a national heritage.


Last update 3-06-2014

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