Saint Pierre and Miquelon is a small group of islands east of the Canadian coast, about 25 kilometers from Newfoundland. The islands are today as French Oversea territory bound to France. St Pierre and Miquelon is made up of three Regions together. The islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon-Langlade and the smaller islands of Grand Colombier, Petit Colombier and Île aux Marins. Saint Pierre is the main center of economic activity on Saint Pierre and Miquelon and is also the only town.
Miquelon represents the northern half of the larger island. Numerous animals live here, and the village of Miquelon with its Basque history is also located here. Langlade is the southern part of the Miquelon-Langlade and is mainly built on with smaller homesteads and holiday homes.
Saint Pierre and Miquelon is the ideal holiday destination for people interested in history, culture, eco-tourism and the French language. Beyond the historical monuments, St. Pierre et Miquelon is worth a trip for its climate and beautiful landscape.
The St. Pierre and Miquelon archipelago was discovered when the Italian navigator Giovanni Caboto was exploring the Newfoundland region in 1497. He found the islands and appropriated them as property. Shortly afterwards, Norman, Breton and Portuguese fishermen reached the islands as they were attracted by the rich fish stocks. They were followed by the Basques in 1579. When Jacques Cartier circumnavigated the islands in 1536, he reported that he had met some Breton and Basque fishermen. Alonso de Santa Cruz declared in 1541 after his exploration tour that he had seen Irish and drunks, but the islands were otherwise uninhabited. Gian Battista Ramusio, a Venetian, reported on the other hand, when he passed the islands in 1556, that there were wild people living in the area in the summer who would go to sea to fish.
Area: 242 km²
Population: 5,888 (July 2011, CIA). The residents have mostly Basque and Breton Root.
Population density: 24 residents per km²
Population growth: -0.968% per year (2011, CIA)
Capital: Saint Pierre (5.618 residents, 2006)
Highest point: Morne de la Grande Montagne, 240 m
Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean, 0 m
Form of government: The islands are a French overseas territory. The Territorial Council (Conseil territorial de Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon) is made up of 19 members who are elected every three years. Saint Pierre and Miquelon send a representative to both the French National Assembly and the French Senate. Although a member of the European Union, the islands are not part of the EU’s customs territory.
Head of Government: president of the Territorial Council Stéphano Artano, since March 24th, 2006
Head of State: French President Nicolas Sarkozy, since May 16, 2007, the French President is represented on site by Prefect Jean-Régis Borius.
Language: The official language in Saint Pierre and Miquelon is French.
Religion: 99% Catholics, 1% Others
Local time: CET – 4 h.
There is no change between summer and winter time on Saint Pierre and Miquelon.
The time difference to Central Europe is -4 hours in winter and -5 hours in summer.
International phone code: +508
Mains voltage: 110/220 volts, 50 Hz
St Pierre and Miquelon – Geography
Saint Pierre and Miquelon is located at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River about 60 km south of Newfoundlandin the North Atlantic. The Burin Peninsula, located south-west off the south coast of Newfoundland, is even closer to Saint Pierre and Miquelon, about 25 kilometers east of the islands. There is also a small Canadian island with a lighthouse (Green Island) halfway between the southern part of Langlade and Newfoundland. It is about 10 kilometers from Langlade and St. Pierre.
Saint Pierre and Miquelon is an archipelago of eight islands, Saint-Pierre (25 square kilometers) and Miquelon-Langlade (216 square kilometers) are the two most important. Taken together, the islands cover an area of 242 square kilometers, roughly the size of Brooklyn inNew York City. The total length of the coast is 120 km. The area also includes the adjacent fishing areas in the North Atlantic.
The island of Saint-Pierre is surrounded by smaller islands, Petit Colombier, Ile aux Marins, Île aux Pigeons and Île aux Vainqueurs in the southeast and Grand Colombier in the north. These islands were all inhabited in the past.
St. Pierre is separated from Miquelon-Langlade by a 6 km wide strait with very violent currents. The fishermen also call this section of the ocean the Mouth of Hell. The waters around these islands are very dangerous, with more than 600 shipwrecks on their coasts.
Miquelon long drawer
The island of Miquelon-Langlade consists of the three formerly separate islands of Miquelon (110 square kilometers), Langlade (91 square kilometers) and Le Cap. In the 18th century a natural, sandy land bridge was formed between Miquelon and Langlade. This connection became a 13-kilometer-long sand dune through additional human sand deposits. Over 500 wrecked ships can be found along the isthmus.
What was originally Miquelon Island is now also called Grande Miquelon, while Petite Miquelon refers to Langlade.