Anses d’Arlets

The Anses d’Arlet (Anses alone being plural) received their name from a former Caribbean chief named Arlet who owned the entire region for a long time, and more specifically the land leading to the two Anses: – the large one at the entrance to Fort-de-France bay; – the small one, further south, which is accessed by the Diamond. It is in the middle of them that the village is located.

At the beginning of the colonization, two Caribbean brothers, Arlet and Pilot, would have given up their property and land to the settlers in northern Martinique, to take refuge in the South, following a treaty signed between them. As a result, Arlet settled in the region to which he gave his name.

Again, Arlet abandoned his lands to the French to withdraw further south and the Jesuits settled there in 1665. They did not stay there long and gave way to the Capuchins. This region of the island was gradually populated; the inhabitants took care of the chapels for the use of the missionaries.

The first chapel was dedicated to Saint-Antoine de Padoue; a baptism was celebrated there in 1671 by Father Simon. In 1673, this chapel was replaced by a church. Major repairs were undertaken in 1687 by the financial care of the “parishioners” in the form of offerings. This church was destroyed during the years 1762 and 1763 by the English who burnt everything down. It took a few years for the population to be able to rebuild the houses and take care of the religious buildings. The church was rebuilt with the help of Henri Larcher, a wealthy resident of the region. In recognition of her benefactor, she was placed under the patronage of Saint-Henri.

Until 1676, there was no established parish in this part of the island; religious services were performed by visiting priests (Jesuits / Capuchins / Dominicans). It was from this date that one of them was in charge of Anses d’Arlet and Diamant.

Eight years later, the two boroughs were erected in separate parishes but continued for many years to have a common servant who resided in Anses. Under a decree issued on June 12, 1837, the then governor, Mackau, with the approval of the council, divided Martinique into twenty municipalities. This is how the southern commune was created, which included Anses d’Arlet (where the mayor resided), Le Diamant and Sainte-Luce. It was administered by a mayor, three deputies and nine members of the council. Sainte Luce was detached in 1848 and the Diamond in 1862.

Town hall of Anses d’Arlet. 97217, the handles of arlet Email:

Phone: (33) 0596 68 62 02 
Fax: (33) 0596 68 68 38

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