- Continental region – North America
- Currency symbol of Sint Maarten (the Netherlands) – Antillean guilder(ANG))
- Capital City – Philipsburg
- Official languages – Dutch is the official language of Sint Maarten, used in legal documents and throughout the court system.
- Population – 40,654 (2018)
- Country dialling code – (+ 599)
- Official website – Sint Maarten (the Netherlands)
- Top 3 biggest industries – Tourism, light industry , heavy industry
- Google Maps link – Sint Maarten (the Netherlands)
- Where is it? – Sint Maarten, also spelled Saint Martin, country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Lesser Antilles, north eastern Caribbean Sea. It occupies the southern third of the island of Saint Martin.
Sint Maarten (the Netherlands) In Pictures
Sint Maarten (the Netherlands) History
- How did the country get its first name? – The first people to settle here were a tribe of Arawak Indians gave it the name “Sualouiga” meaning “Land of Salt” for the salt-pans and the brackish water they found here in great abundance.
- How did the country get its current name? – The island was sighted on November 11, 1493, by Christopher Columbus, who named it in honour of St. Martin of Tours, whose feast day it was. Valued for its natural lakes of salt, a scarce commodity in Europe, the island changed between Dutch and Spanish hands several times. In 1648 the Dutch returned to the island to find it occupied by the French, with whom they signed a partition treaty.
- When and by whom the country was first discovered? –
- Groups of Meso Indians arrived and lived on the the island between 400 BC to 960 AD. The first European to see the island was Christopher Columbus, 11 November 1493,
- Who were the first Inhabitants? – The Arawak and Carib inhabited the island before its sighting by Christopher Columbus on November 11, 1493, the feast day of St. Martin of Tours. It was claimed by several European powers—notably the Dutch and the French, who partitioned the island in 1648.
- When it was first recognized as a country? – In 2006 the people of Sint Maarten agreed, along with the other islands and the government of the Netherlands, to dissolve the Netherlands Antilles; this occurred on October 10, 2010. Sint Maarten and Curaçao became, like Aruba, countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
- Who was the first leader of the country? – Sarah Wescot-Williams was the first Prime minister of Sint Martin.
Five Significant Events
- February Arrowroot Festival (Annual): St Martin’s village of Columbier celebrates a traditional ingredient in its cuisine and daily life at the annual Arrowroot Festival. http://www.geographia.com/st-martin/smcal01.htm
March Heineken Regatta: A highlight of St Maarten’s year, the Heineken Regatta attracts international attention as boats of all shapes and sizes come to the tiny island to race and party. (http://www.geographia.com/st-martin/smcal01.htm)
April Fish Day: Known as Labour Day in France, Fish Day in St Martin celebrates the island’s colourful variety of fish in French Cul-de-Sac Bay. (http://www.geographia.com/st-martin/smcal01.htm)
May Festival of Laughter : Every April the infectious carnival mix of dancing, music-making and parades takes over the little island of St Maarten/St Martin. (http://www.geographia.com/st-martin/smcal01.htm)
June Summer Heat Music Festival: Marigot’s seafront rocks to the sounds of world music and dancing feet at St Martin’s annual Summer Heat Music Festival. (http://www.geographia.com/st-martin/smcal01.htm)
Five Places to Visit in Sint Maarten (the Netherlands)
- Stroll the Streets of Philipsburg: Founded in 1763, the Dutch capital of St. Maarten has a rich history, great shopping, and lively activity day and night. (https://www.tripsavvy.com/attractions-st-martin-st-maarten-4125328)
- Visit the Museum Sint Maarten: The St. Maarten Museum in downtown Philipsburg makes a great rainy-day activity or a quick stop while strolling the streets of the Dutch capital. (https://www.tripsavvy.com/attractions-st-martin-st-maarten-4125328)
- Wine and Dine in Grand Case: Grand Case is the culinary capital of both St. Martin and St. Maarten and a foodie haven. Restaurants occupy many of the village’s historic buildings and beach bars line the town’s sandy beach. (https://www.tripsavvy.com/attractions-st-martin-st-maarten-4125328)
- Enjoy Serenity at the Natural Reserve of St. Martin: While the island of St. Maarten and St. Martin is relatively compact and highly developed, you can still get a sense of nature’s beauty. (https://www.tripsavvy.com/attractions-st-martin-st-maarten-4125328)
- Ferry Over to Pinel Island: Often overlooked by visitors to St. Maarten, Pinel Island sits at the center of Orient Bay within the St. Maarten Marine Park. (https://www.tripsavvy.com/attractions-st-martin-st-maarten-4125328)