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Discover Cap-Haitien: The 2nd city of HaitiHaïti : Cap-Haïtien
Discover Cap-Haitien: The 2nd city of Haiti
Haïti : Cap-Haïtien
  • May 08, 2024
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Discover Cap-Haitien: The 2nd city of Haiti

Cap-Haïtien, is a coastal city in the northern department of Haiti, formerly known under the names of Cap-Français or Cap-Henri. Dominated by the Morne Jean mountain, this destination offers an immersion in the French colonial past and the Haitian revolution. Nestled by picturesque bays and bordered by the Haut-du-Cap river, Cap-Haitien appeals to travelers looking for authenticity and seaside adventure. The city, rich in history and culture, has seen the birth of renowned artists like Philomé Obin and hosts a vibrant music scene with the groups Septentrional and Tropicana from Haiti. Its hidden treasures, including the Citadelle La Ferrière and the historic site of Vertières, as well as its magnificent natural landscapes, make Cap-Haitien an unmissable destination in the Caribbean. Paradise beaches in Labadie and cobbled streets evoking a rich past invite visitors to fully immerse themselves in Haitian history and culture.

Cap-Haïtien, formerly Cap-Français or Cap-Henri, is the second city of Haiti, capital of the Nord department and the district of Cap-Haïtien. Located on the northern coast of the Republic of Haïti , was considered in the 19th century as the safest port. Dominated by the Morne Jean mountain, culminating at 718 meters above sea level, the town is located at the mouth of the Haut-du-Cap river, on the west coast. of the bay of Cap-Haïtien. To the west of the town lies the Acul Bay.

Haïti : Cap-HaïtienHaïti : Cap-Haïtien

A Journey Through Time

To the east of Cap-Haïtien, formerly named Guarico by the Amerindians, Christopher Columbus had a fort named La Navidad built in 1492 from the debris of the Santa María which had been shipwrecked. He left 39 men there who were all killed by the natives before his return, tired of the abuses committed by the settlers.

In 1695, the city was attacked and pillaged by the English in retaliation for an expedition to Jamaica led by Jean-Baptiste du Casse. Thus, during the French colonial period, Cap-Français became the capital of Saint-Domingue, the richest French colonies, until the Haitian Revolution. During the period of the Haitian Revolution from 1791 to 1804, Cap-Haïtien was the scene of violent clashes. In 1793, the city was burned during a conflict between revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries. Later, in 1802, during the Saint-Domingue expedition, General Henri Christophe, faced with French military superiority, started a fire which ravaged the city entirely. After the Battle of Sibert where the country was divided into two states , it was the capital of the State of Hayti led by King Henri 1st. In the decades later this city was designated, by President Louis Pierrot, capital of the country on November 1, 1845, losing its place a few years later in profit from Port-au-Prince.

Haïti : Cap-HaïtienHaïti : Cap-Haïtien

The Cultural Renaissance

Cap-Haïtien is a culturally renowned city, having seen the birth of illustrious writers and painters such as Philomé Obin, one of the most important artists in the history of Haiti. It has a musical scene which is animated by the rivalry between two Jazz groups namely from Septentrional and Tropicana from Haiti, each with tens of thousands of fans nicknamed Djokannèl. Although cinema is not predominant in Cap-Haitien, the city has produced high-quality and remarkable works such as "Le Cap à la Une", "Journée de couleur" and "10 reasons to cheat on your husband". Despite economic challenges, the local arts scene is vibrant, with contemporary works and traditional music festivals often held during country festivals. For decades, young members of different cultural associations have emerged with enthusiasm to promote culture, education and theater, thus contributing to the cultural and artistic excitement that defines Cap-Haitien. These associations support through the Capoise community, proud of its heritage and actively engaged in preserving their tradition and craftsmanship.

Haïti : Cap-HaïtienHaïti : Cap-Haïtien

Hidden Treasures

The natural landscapes of Cap-Haitien, with their picturesque bays and pristine beaches, make it a major tourist destination, attracting both affluent Haitian vacationers and international visitors seeking authenticity and seaside adventure. Additionally, the city’s relative political stability makes it an attractive refuge for those fleeing the unrest in the south of the island. At the heart of this city is an impressive testimony to the French colonial era with its well-preserved architecture. The cobbled streets and buildings with colorful facades evoke a rich and complex past, offering visitors a total immersion in Haiti’s history.

A few kilometers from the city is Labadie, a seaside resort where visitors can relax on heavenly beaches and discover the local craft market. Not far from there, the Palais Sans Soucis, Ramiers and the Citadelle La Ferrière, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site since 1982. The historic site of Vertières, near Cap-Haïtien, recalls the courage and determination of the Haitian people during the decisive battle that led to the country’s independence in 1803. With its unique blend of natural beauty, remarkable architecture and fascinating history, Cap-Haïtien continues to amaze and captivate world travelers entire, offering an incomparable cultural and tourist experience.

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Jarule Laguerre

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    Living in Prose and Poetry: an unmissable summer event in Port-au-Prince.

    Living in Prose and Poetry is an artistic and cultural event organized by the cultural organization Salon de Livre de Port-au-Prince (OCSLPAP) with the aim of bringing together young artists from the Haitian capital to exhibit them to a large audience . This edition will take place on Saturday July 27, 2024, at the pyépoudré cultural center, located at number 332 on the Route de Bourne. This year the organizers announce their mission is to bring together talents from various categories of arts, always with the aim of helping them to become familiar with each other, and to help create a solid link between them and the Haitian public. . The categories targeted by the organizers for this second edition are young poets, slammers, comedians, rappers, dancers, singers, painters, and writers who have already published at least one work. Living in prose and poetry will also be an opportunity to encourage Haitian youth to think. The first part of the event will be devoted to a discussion around a text by the famous Haitian writer Louis Philippe Dalembert, entitled The Other Face of the Sea. It is a novel which carefully addresses the subject of immigration and detachment that goes with it in the immigrant’s skin. It is a book that speaks openly to the reality of the Haitian people today. It has already been announced that this first part will be moderated by the journalist and literary critic Carl Pierrecq who works for the short story writer, and moderation will be provided by Pierre Marie, a young sociology student at the Faculty of Human Sciences (FASCH). After a largely successful first edition which took place in May 2023 in the premises of the municipal library of Delmas, the organizers of living in prose and poetry say they are determined and have made the promise for this year to deliver to the public port-au -princien, a cultural event of exceptional scale for the second outing. Once again, this will be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the great richness of Haitian culture through the organs of our young talents. Given the difficult context, manifested by the almost daily situation of insecurity which has prevailed for some time, in a good part of Port-au-Prince, the announcement of this event comes as a fresh breath of oxygen, scattered throughout the within the lungs of the city. It is yet another opportunity to remind through this artistic festivity that even in times of deep unrest, art will remain an indispensable light, because even in times of crisis, the latter and the artist (its channel of diffusion) will become refuges, sources of comfort and appeasement for all human souls.



    First black nation to free itself from slavery and gain independence from France in 1804 and influenced other liberation movements around the world, inspiring struggles for freedom and equality.

    Natural beauty

    Natural beauty

    Haïti is blessed with spectacular natural landscapes, including white sand beaches, mountains and rich biodiversity.



    Haïti has a rich historical heritage, including sites like the Citadelle Laferrière and the Sans-Souci Palace, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.



    Haïti has a rich and diverse culture, influenced by African, European and indigenous elements. Haitian music, dance, art and cuisine are celebrated around the world.