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Capesterre-Belle-Eau

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Capesterre-Belle-Eau is a commune in the French overseas region and department of Guadeloupe, in the Lesser Antilles. It is located in the south-east of Basse-Terre Island. Capesterre-Belle-Eau covers an area of 103.3 km² (39.884 sq mi). The 1999 population was 19,568. The population density is 189 persons per km2. The inhabitants are called Capesterriens.EtymologyIts name comes from an expression of the navy of the 17th century: cab-be-ground, which indicates a ground exposed to the east wind. The abundance of the cascades, the rivers and the water levels led to the addition of the phrase Belle Eau, hence the name Capesterre-Belle-Eau.HistoryPetroglyphs discovered in the rivers of Peru and Bananier show the presence of American Indians.On 4 November 1493, Christopher Columbus's second voyage unloaded there. Columbus would have met Amerindians. To commemorate this event, a bust of the navigator was raised in 1916 at the entry of Sainte-Marie.In the 17th century, Charles Houël gave land to Dutch colonists driven out of Brazil, so that they could grow sugarcane there. After the abolition of chattel slavery in 1848, Indian indentured workers were hired to replace the plantation slaves. They built a temple in the Shangy district.
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