Historical monuments of northern Haiti

As part of The Haitian Times’ special coverage of Haitian Heritage Month, Haitians across bordershere are some of the historical monuments of Haiti located in the department of the North.

Cayman Wood

Bois Caiman is a site near where the home of Lenormand de Mézy, a former French settler from northern Santo Domingo, now Haiti, stood.

On the night of August 14, 1791, slave and voodoo priest Dutty Boukman, held a voodoo ceremony there for a large number of slaves to command a general slave uprising. A pig was sacrificed and Cécile Fatima, a voodoo priestess, distributed the blood to the assembly. They believed blood made them invincible.

The Slave Revolt of August 14, 1791, or The Slave Revolt of August 14, 1791, an artwork of slaves during the voodoo ceremony that day. Photo by Oldjy François for The Haitian Times

A week later, on August 22, many houses were burned down and several settlers were killed along with their wives and children. For more than a week, the northern plain was ravaged. They counted around 1000 settlers killed, 161 sugar cane plantations and 1200 coffee plantations burnt down.

Boukman was killed by the authorities as he moved with his troops towards Cap-Français. The Bois Caiman ceremony is considered the gathering of slaves where they made the pact to live free or die. It also led to the first slave revolution.

Metal sculpture of a slave holding a broken chain at Bois Caïman. Photo by Oldjy François for The Haitian Times

Fort du Picolet

Fort-Picolet,
Fort du Picolet, a fortress built in 1739 in Cap-Français, which is now known as Cap-Haitien. Photo by Oldjy François for The Haitian Times

Citadel Laferriere

Citadel Laferriere,
Citadelle La Ferrière, a fortress built in Milot in the 19th century by King Henri Christophe. It was selected as UNESCO National Heritage in 1982. Photo by Oldjy François for The Haitian Times

Breda

Breda,
A public park in Breda, a town in Cap-Haitien, where there is a statue of Toussaint Louverture and the slave Normil. Photo by Oldjy François for The Haitian Times

Sans Souci Palace

Sans-Souci Palace, home of King Henri Christophe in the 1900s. Photo by Oldjy François for The Haitian Times

The Sans-Souci Palace is a castle, located in Milot, north side of Haiti. The castle next to its outbuilding was built in 1810 by Henry Christophe.

Henry Christophe is one of the paternal figures of the independence of Haiti. He proclaimed himself king in 1811 and was called Henry I. Cap-Haitien was called Cap-Français during the colonial era, then became Cap-Henry and was the capital of Haiti during the reign of Henry.

The work was completed in 1813. Besides the castle, there was a chapel with a large dome and numerous annexes including barracks, a hospital, ministries, a printing house, banks, schools, an art academy, a farm, etc. It can be favorably compared to all the English or French royal courts of the 14th and 15th centuries. The King and his wife Marie Louise and their children resided there with their councils and staff. At the start of the northern revolution, Christophe fell ill and was unpopular and killed himself on October 8, 1820. He was 53 years old.

Fort St. Joseph

Fort Saint Joseph,
Elevated shot of Fort Saint-Joseph in Cap-Haitien. Photo by Oldjy François for The Haitian Times

The Heroes of Vertières

The Heroes of Vertières,
Les Héros de Vertières, located in Cap-Haitien, is the metal sculpture of six heroes of the Battle of Vertières – the last major battle of the Haitian Revolution on November 18, 1803. Photo by Oldjy François for The Haitian Times

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