The French chic, brightly painted houses and glittering yacht harbour of charming Gustavia reveal the style and sophistication of tiny St. Barthelemy ('St. Barths'), a miniature Caribbean Cote d'Azur just eight miles square. Enjoy some duty-free shopping in its smart boutiques, dine in one of the countless gourmet bistros and restaurants - and try to visit one of the 14 idyillic beaches.
St. Barthelemy was named after Columbus' Brother, Bartolomeo. The first colonists were the French, who arrived in 1645, but later sold the land to the Knights of Malta. The island was then abandoned after several raids by the Carib Indians and was resettled in 1674 by the French. The British occupied St. Barts for a short time during the century, but the French prevailed once again, selling the island to Sweden in 1784. The Swedish heritage of St. Barts can be felt in the capital of Gustavia. France bought the island back from Sweden in 1878, and today it is considered part of the Dependency of Guadeloupe, an Overseas Department of France.
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