Petit Canal is a commune that crosses the Grande-Terre from east to west, joining the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other.
The cultivation of sugar cane dates back several years, but it is around the port that we must draw all our attention. Although, today, the port is a simple fishing wharf, it was here that for years newcomers from Africa arrived to be recruited to perform forced labor as slaves. Several places to see commemorate this moment in history: the slave marches, the old prison, monuments and even an art gallery.
The Saint-Philippe and Saint-Jacques church faces the canal and may have seen the pain of the new arrivals. Shaken by the earthquake of 1843, it was rebuilt in 1856, then damaged in 1928. It was rebuilt under the architect Ali Tur, the one who was mandated all over the island to help rebuild religious and administrative places after devastating events. Notice the presbytery just next to the church whose style shows similarities with the church. When you are in the church, you are on the upper plateau of the slave steps.
The slave prison is within walking distance of the steps and the port. The prison is held hostage by a cursed fig tree that has taken root in this place.
The monument of the eternal flame is dedicated to the soul of an unknown slave. Its shape recalls the Ka, a musical instrument used by the slaves and which is similar to the tam-tam.
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