Beauport - Le pays de la Canne
Aquarium de la Guadeloupe
Jardin botanique de Deshaies
Rhum Karukéra
Green Blue Houses
Casino Saint François
village du littoral

Saint-Joseph Church

Monument - Vieux-Habitants

The original wooden church building, built by Dominican priests Breton and Du Tertre, who founded the parish, has been documented in as early as 1636. Over the years, this structure received many improvements, but could not withstand the fires set by the British when they landed here on March 20, 1703. It was rebuilt the same year, this time in stone, by the Capuchins under Father Vincent, and expanded in 1721. The Capuchins had obtained definitive domicile rights in Guadeloupe in 1681, and were granted Vieux-Habitants as their parish. It is their emblems that adorn the fronton above the door. The volcanic rock porch (classified as a historic monument in 1975) was carved by Limousin stonemasons. This church is the second-oldest in Guadeloupe, after the Jesuit church Notre-Dame du Mont Carmel (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) in Basse-Terre. During construction to expand the building, the old choir was demolished in 1951 by the architect of the diocese, Pierre Isnard. The interior features a commemorative chapel dedicated to the founding priests, and an assemblage of remarkable gold-plated ecclesiastical objects, primarily from Paris, dating from the mid-18th century:  processional cross, sanctuary lamp, cruet tray, ciborium whose cup is engraved with a scene of the wedding of the Virgin to Saint Joseph, and more. The richness and quality of these objects should be seen in relation to the silver objects used in the plantations during this period. Father Breton was the first Dominican missionary in Guadeloupe. He served from 1635 to 1654 and was among the first to chronicle 17th century colonial life, authoring “Relations de l'Isle de la Guadeloupe“ and other works. He instigated the creation of eight chapels or churches on the island.

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