By: Ford Pierre
The Palace of the Belle River, or Palace of 365 Doors is among the most beautiful tourist sites in Haiti, a true masterpiece of art and culture. architecture, whose fame is based on its splendor and in particular its 365 doors. In reality, around two centuries old, this fascinating building, close to the Artibonite river, remains a source of curiosity with its beautiful, ingenious but above all unusual structure. In this article you will discover some details that you do not know about this magnificent royal castle, the darling of the commune of Petite rivière de l'Artibonite.
Historical Background of the Palace of 365 Doors in Haiti
The “Belle Rivière Palace”, better known as the “365-door palace”, is located precisely in Petite Rivière de l'Artibonite, built during the reign of King Henri Christophe, in order to better establish his kingdom on the entire extent of the greater northern region of Haiti, particularly in the department of Artibonite.
This building was built between the years 1816 and 1820, by a French architect named Louis Dupeyrac, to serve as a residence for Henri 1er, nicknamed "king builder" according to history, because of his many constructions during his period of governance of the northern part of Haiti, divided at the time after the assassination of the father of Haitian independence, Jean Jacques Dessalines.
Construction of the Haitian Belle-Rivière palace
Its construction started in 1816, but was still under construction during the fall of the kingdom of the North, in October 1820, the Belle-Rivière palace, which should have been composed of several levels, unfortunately remained unfinished. On the other hand, in terms of importance, this palace is the second after that of Sans Souci, on the list of nine built by Christophe.
It should be noted that the Palais de la Belle-Rivière had already undergone major restoration and completion work as part of an intervention that was made under the presidency of Sténio Vincent, in April 1932. According to the 'ISPAN, the building has a rectangular plan 68 meters long and 11 meters wide. Its walls are made of stone masonry and clay bricks, bound by a lime mortar. On its west facade is attached a vast rotunda, 12 meters in diameter. The east facade, rear, is distinguished in its axis by a projection surmounted by a reinforced concrete pediment, added during the intervention of 1932. At the same time, it was decided to provide the roof with a sheet metal cover. corrugated supported by a wooden frame. The structure of the palace, then in ruins, was consolidated, its walls coated with cement plaster and its numerous openings fitted with wooden shutters.
About 82 years later, under the presidency of Michel Joseph Martelly, a second rehabilitation of this monument was carried out by the National Heritage Preservation Institute (ISPAN). This restoration and exterior development work took place under the direction of the Haitian architect Philippe Châtelain.
Contrary to what we believed, the palace with 365 doors does not really have 365 doors. Indeed, King Henry had the project to build this building with several levels and a total of 365 doors, but he could not achieve this goal. So the building is so called, because of its many openings.
Classified as National Heritage of the Republic of Haiti by a presidential decree published on August 23, 1995, it is a place of memory symbolizing a glorious past of the Haitian people.
Today is National Beach Day and I thought it would be fun to share beautiful beach photos of Haiti with you. I really couldn't pick a favorite beach in Haiti because there hasn't been one I didn't like!
The photo below illustrates so many things for me about Haiti. I took the photo in a secluded area on Ile a Vache. There are many different parts of the sea that grew together and eventually combined into one piece. And as the outside in Haiti is chaotic and many times unfair, one thing that will always remain the same is the beauty under the sea. As Sebastian from The Little Mermaid once said..."Down here all the fish is happy."
While of course I cannot ignore the trials that Haiti is experiencing, I believe in still sharing the beauty of Haiti and her people. It's part of Haiti's narrative that deserves to be shown!
Which is your favorite beach in Haiti?
Happy National Beach Day!
I don't have access to the digital edition, so please click on the pdf to read it. The one above is too small!
As a past troubled place, Haiti hasn’t been number one for Caribbean tourists. However, in the recent years, the country has been trying hard to overcome their negative image which usually shows poverty, corruption and disasters. Travel company Young Pioneer Tours announced that they will offer a backpack tour to Haiti as one of the first in the world. As known, tourism in Haiti has been very limited so far; most foreigners are expats working for various NGOs, travelling around or tourists make a one day stop with cruise ships going to Labadee. Hopefully, this tour will start a new flow of tourism and development for Haiti.
The tour aims to show the current reality in Haiti, but also that there’s more than poverty. Beautiful Caribbean beaches, Vodou, special rum, great architecture, and a beautiful landscape all prove that there’s more in stock for this half of the Hispaniola-island. It shows a country that’s dying for positive new impulses from the outside world, which one should be tourism. While the other Caribbean islands are overwhelmed by tourists every year, Haiti has been left alone. Neighbor country Dominican Republic has been more well-known as a holiday destination where many Western tourists touch-down every day. By starting and ending the trip in DR, Young Pioneer Tours hopes to give more insights on this intriguing island and to add something positive to the image of Haiti. The tour includes visits to Port Au Prince, Central Plateau, Bassin Zim and Croix des Bouquets. The trip starts in May, and Haiti can be reached easily through budget airlines via Dominican Republic. Starting and ending in Port Au Prince is also an option. For more information, visit
http://www.youngpioneertours.com/tour/haiti-tour/. Please tell them you saw this information on The Real Haiti website!
To me, I feel as though Haiti is a person who I am madly in love with, who I am proud of and who I can't wait to see. I think about Haiti morning, noon and night. My love for Haiti grows more and more each day. I know...it sounds crazy...it is crazy! I am a blan who grew up hearing nothing but negative things about the country. How could I possibly be so in love with this country?
As I do every morning, I go through Haitian news and see what is going on for the day. Today, I got to see part two of the special on the update from the earthquake on Local 10 News in Miami. Part one will just about tear your heart out and make you absolutely nuts over the negativity they are focusing on when it is just a small part. But, just like in Haiti, everything is a drastic extreme - one side of the street there are people working to survive and on the other, there are the richest of the rich. It's reality...it's Haiti.
Here's a wonderful story on the progress and hope everyone (especially Haitians) has!
MOBILE READERS, CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO: http://www.local10.com/news/haitianbased-company-finds-success-after-quake-4-years-ago/-/1717324/23973420/-/hbrnlt/-/index.html
To me, "made in Haiti" means life, hope and progress. To see people live life every day, go to work, take care of their family, be in love, is what I love most about Haiti. That is why I have this blog. Finally, the news media is giving Haiti a chance. Thank you WPLG for showing this side of Haiti that so many of us are proud of!
What does "made in Haiti" mean to you?
He was dressed in a red button down shirt, dress pants and dress shoes. He had his camera bag full of equipment and his PRESS pass around his neck. He pulled out a notebook to show me how he keeps track of the details of the photos he takes. The front of it has the CNN logo and he told me his friend from the US sent it to him. Inside it reads:
I am writing about Fedno Lubin, a 20 year old young man who lives in Jacmel, Haiti. Ten years ago, he moved from the mountainside to live with his aunt in the city to go to school. Fedno’s aunt knew about the Art Creation Foundation for Children (ACFFC) and signed him up. Over the years, he learned many forms of art, but his passion is photography, who he learned from Jen Pantaleon…his teacher and guide. He mentioned Jen’s name a lot throughout the 2 days we spent together for Gout et Saveurs Lakay, Haiti's Food & Spirits Festival to celebrate the country's Gastronomy. His appreciation for the art of photography is great. He inspires me.
I had the absolute pleasure of being interviewed by Pierre of CIUT 89.5FM in Canada! The interview was on Aug. 11 and a coy of the show is above. Pierre asked wonderful questions and really wanted to learn about The Real Haiti and what inspires me. The whole crew was extremely professional and everything ran smoothly. CIUT, I appreciate it!!!!!!!!!!! You guys rock! THANK YOU, MESI ANPIL!!!!!!!!!!
Ballad Creole is a program meant to educate and bridge the gap between Creole communities within the GTA and across southwest Ontario. The program aims also to enable people to understand the news affecting the Caribbean Creole population from an angle other than the main stream media of the west.
There are roughly 80.000 people in this geographic area that have roots in such places as Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Islands Mauritius and other Creole communities as well. The show is presented utilizing a balance of Creole and English.
Journalist Pierre Rigaus Charleus, host of the Ballade Creole (Creole Ballad),prior to graduating in Mass Communication at the State University of Haiti in 1994, has been already involved in Journalism at local radio stations such Radio Super Gemini and Dynamic FM in his Home Town Saint Marc, Haiti. Following His graduation, he worked at Magik Fm and the National Radio in Port au Prince, Haiti between 1998 through 2000. he moved to New Jersey in 2001 and worked as a volunteer at HSTV and Radio Verite. In 2008 He moved to Canada and joined Choq Fm to host Caraiboscopy, a radio talk show covering issues within the Caribbean Francophone.
Host: Pierre Rigaus Charleus
"Now I know Haiti doesn't need me to help it, Haiti needs me to be a cheerleader. A catalyst." Guest post by Shannon Kelley
It's your typical story. I came to Haiti on a missions trip and fell in
love with this country. I didn't know much about Haiti then-only what I
perceived through my American colored glasses and what the media
portrayed. Although, ironically, I looked around then and thought I knew
how to help. Silly me. Looking back I now realize that wasn't true at all.
I went home-sat in the Miami airport and told my friend "I think Haiti is
my home"- sold everything, packed up and moved here. I spent the next
year and a half realizing I knew nothing about Haiti or how to truly help.
I lived as close as I could to Haitian-not behind big walls but in their
community, getting water from a well with them, doing life with them. As
the perceptions of what I thought of Haiti when I first arrived fell away,
I only fell deeper in love with this country.
Haiti taught me more than I could have ever imagined.
Haiti taught me how to love. How to truly help without the guise of
organizations. How to live simply. How to enjoy the moment. How to
laugh. How to appreciate beauty, survive hardship, help your neighbor,
Haiti saved me.
Years ago when I was boarding that plane I would have never imagined the
life I was going to find was one of beauty. I got on that plane thinking
I was going to a third world nation to struggle and "do good". Now I know
I was really going to find hope and beauty in ways I didn't expect.
It is walking down a dirt path holding hands under a blanket of stars.
It is jumping into the crystal clear Caribbean Sea.
It is eating grilled lobster on the beach with a guy playing the most
beautiful music with just a stick and empty rum jar.
It is mountains meeting beautiful beaches.
It is laughing-truly laughing.
It is watching the goats getting herded home in the afternoons.
It is littles in their uniform walking to school in the morning.
Now I know Haiti doesn't need me to help it, Haiti needs me to be a
cheerleader. A catalyst.
If you tell a child they are naughty, they will-after a while-believe they
are naughty. If you tell a girl she is ugly, she will look in the mirror
and here your voice in her head. If you abuse someone long enough, they
come to identify themselves with that. I personally believe that we have
more power and responsibility than we realize in the history and fate of
this nation by how we perceive it and what is said of it.
It is time, my friends, to start telling Haiti that she is beauty. She is
worth it. She can succeed. It is time to join together and make our voice
strong. Because L'Union Fait La Force.
Shannon Kelley lives in Port Salut, Haiti where she manages Dan's Creek
Hotel as well as writes her journey on her blog,
www.shannon-kelley.com/blog. She is a former wedding photographer and
believes in Haiti as a wedding destination. She is founder and editor of
Haiti Weddings, a Haitian wedding resource at www.haitiweddings.com. Her
favorite Haitian food is Dous-a coconut candy, and every Sunday afternoon
you can find her at the local beach eating fresh grilled lobster:)
This was translated into English via Google translator. The newsletter is put out by the Minister of Tourism in French. I am reposting for your information. I offer access to any and all information that I learn of. Enjoy...
We hung a single objective: to propel the destination Haiti in front of the international tourism scene. Progress is visible at this level, and international supermodel, Petra Nemcova, says: "Whenever I come to Haiti, I see the progress they build roads, ... new hotels. ...".
The major international hotels chains settled there actually, we try to create, at the same time, the events capable of attracting good spotlight on us, as this activity skating we support.
Put Haiti on the map of tourist destinations in the world requires the implementation of a whole apparatus. So do not let go of us, none of the focuses of our tourism policy with this program classification of tourist facilities that we have just launched. The Ministry of Tourism is committed to fulfill its role as an accompanist and as a regulator of the tourism industry in Haiti.
We have entered in the prestigious ranking of the World Economic Forum competitiveness index in the tourism sector. And we will henceforth work according to the criteria of this report, so as to get the best seats in the next rankings. The destination Haiti is recognized, it remains only to leave you to conquer ...
Ayiti, in the Pouw La!
Stephanie Balmir Villedrouin
Minister of Tourism of Haiti
Mon 22 - 7h pm
IFH - Free admission
projection - Cycle Haiti in the image
Boulpik Arnold Antonin, politics, cinema
and reality by director Mathieu
Mar. 23 - 7h pm
IFH - Free admission
CINE Tuesday - Round dance
Angelin Preljocaj's Snow White
Thu 25 - 7h pm
IFH - Free admission
Mon 29 - 7h pm
IFH - Free admission
projection - International Dance Day
Seeds star Françoise Marie (Part 1)
Mar. 30 - 7h pm
IFH - Free admission
CINE Tuesday - Round dance
Seeds star Françoise Marie (Part 2)
More on www.institutfrancaishaiti. org
April 25 -. 6-10 h PM
Jazz Night / Sax Night @ The Reserve
April 27 -. 9-11 h PM
Full Moon Party @ Rustik
April 27 -. 9-11:59 PM
Gabel / KZino @ The Cosmpolitain
April 28 -. 11 am-10 pm AM PM
Festival of Young Talents @ Sugar Cane
May 10 -. 9-11:59 PM
Tribute to Bob Marley @Karibe
April 30 -. 9-11:59 PM
Ignotum @ The Irish Embassy
More on www.manmanpemba. com
HAITI WELCOMES FIRST SHOW OF SKATING
Haiti has the Best Western Premier
"The most amazing thing is certainly to see this magnificent hotel stand in the middle of the town center, as if there was talk that the reality of our country is immune to its ... More .
Tourist Police:operational by June 2013
A tourist police will be affected as early as June in priority tourist sites in the country such as the Champ-de-Mars, Airport, Cote-des ... More .
Quality label 'HIBISCUS'
In order to offer a quality tourism product the Ministry of Tourism (DOT) launched its classification of tourist establishments this April 2, 2013 in the town of Les Cayes ... More .
Canadian journalists are testing the package Transat
A group of Canadian journalists arrived on April 10 in Port-au-Prince, where they began a mission to assess the Haitian tourism products to promote the package ... More.
Haiti receives the fifth summit of the AEC
Haiti is home to the 5th Summit of states of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), from 23 to 26 April. During three days, the delegations of thirty members or associated states will be present in the country ...More .
Haiti, world tourist destination
"Already it's a good news Haiti is listed and that we recognize the country as a tourist destination," it is by these words that the Minister of Tourism, has introduced e conf ence ... More info .
The destination Jacmel is about to be reborn
After presenting the Tourist Island Project-a-Vache, the Minister of Tourism, Stéphanie Balmir Villedrouin, unveiled the development plan ... More .
The CTC table on the tourist tax
A new working session of the Consultative Council of Tourism (CCT) was held Monday, April 8, 2013 the Ministry of Tourism (MDT). The issue of tourism taxation ... More .
Fifty American tourists come to party in Haiti
A delegation of 50 American tourists arrived in the country this Thursday, April 11, 2013 to take part in the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the couple Harriet and Yves Michel .... More.
Petra Nemcova invited to discover the beauty of Haiti
The world famous supermodel, Petra Nemcova, said he saw progress on several fronts in Haiti. She urged the people of the world to discover the magic she feels ... More .