Sights on the island
The Musée de la Pagerie is housed in the kitchen of the sugar estate where the future Empress Josephine—Napoleon’s first wife—was born. Though the rest of the house was destroyed by a hurricane, what remains is thoroughly fascinating. Displays include her childhood bed and Napoleon’s love letters to her. Visitors are also regaled with stories and interesting trivia about her life, like her marriage certificate was doctored to hide that she was in fact six years older than Bonaparte.
Founded in 1932, the Musée Volcanologique offers insight into the 1902 eruption of Mont Pelée that destroyed St. Pierre, the island’s then-capital, killing all but one of its 28,000 residents. Visitors can tour the nearby ruins, which include the jail cell that held the sole survivor—a prison inmate.