Thursday, January 28, 2010

Haiti Citadel Souvenir Building

News continues to come out of Haiti after the tragic earthquake which devastated the poor Caribbean island. In 1842, another earthquake did serious damage to the Citadelle La Ferrière near the town of Milot, not far from Port-au-Prince. I am not able to find any information about the condition or possible damage to the Citadel after the earthquake this month. Fellow building collector Steve V. sent me a photo of a copper-colored pot metal replica of the mountaintop fortress. The miniature replica stands over 6 inches tall and includes the road and mountain. On the front of the souvenir are the words "Citadelle Du Roi Henry Christophe Haiti."This rare souvenir replica is listed in the Monumental Miniatures book, but not pictured. The Citadelle Laferrière or Citadelle Henri Christophe (Citadel in English), has become an icon of Haiti. The fortress was built by Henri Christophe, a key leader during the Haitian slave rebellion, after Haiti gained independence from France at the beginning of the 19th century. The massive stone structure was built by 20,000 workers between 1805 and 1820 as part of a system of fortifications designed to keep the newly-independent nation of Haiti safe from French incursions. The Citadel was built several miles inland, atop the 3,000 ft (910 m) Bonnet a L’Eveque mountain, to deter attacks and to provide a lookout into the nearby valleys. Cap-Haïtien and the adjoining Atlantic Ocean are visible from the roof of the fortress. On clear days, it is possible to see the eastern coast of Cuba, some 90 miles (140 km) to the west. The Haitians outfitted the fortress with 365 cannon of varying size. Enormous stockpiles of cannonballs still sit in pyramidal stacks at the base of the fortress walls. The walls of the fortress itself rise up 130 feet (40 m) from the mountaintop. As one of the Haitian national symbols, the fortress is featured on tourist ministry posters as well as currency and stamps. The Citadel is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Haiti and was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1982. Our hearts go out to the thousands who were killed, injured and to everyone effected by this disaster.


Unknown said...

Hello Dave,

Nice building, do you have it for trade?

I collect buildings from around the world and HAITI is not on my list yet

Thank you

Dave said...

HI Alex, no this is not my souvenir, but one owned by a fellow collector. I have some building for trade here:

Anonymous said...

Please update The Citadelle is fine and well. It is still a major Touristic site. Along with San-Soucis. Haiti has many forts that are touristic. Check Haiti's websites or minister of tourism for updates on Haiti. Also, we are moving forward as a country, we are rebuilding, we have progressed since the 2010 earthquake.

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