Les Abymes (French pronunciation: [lɛz‿a.bim]) is the most populated commune in the French overseas region and department of Guadeloupe, in the Lesser Antilles. It is located on the west side of the island of Grande-Terre, and is part of the metropolitan area of Pointe-à-Pitre, the largest urban area in Guadeloupe.
The Main Square in Les Abymes
Location of the commune (in red) within Guadeloupe
|Overseas region and department||Guadeloupe|
|Canton||Les Abymes-1, 2 and 3|
|• Mayor (2008-2020)||Éric Jalton|
|81.25 km2 (31.37 sq mi)|
|• Density||670/km2 (1,700/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC−04:00 (AST)|
97101 /97139 and 97142
|Elevation||0–120 m (0–394 ft)|
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
The inhabitants of the commune are known as Abymiens or Abymiennes.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Administration
- 4 Demography
- 5 Economy
- 6 Facilities
- 7 Culture
- 8 Culture and heritage
- 9 Sports
- 10 Notable people linked to the commune
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes and references
Les Abymes is located some 3 km north-east of Pointe-à-Pitre, 7 km east of Baie-Mahault, and 10 km south-west of Morne-à-l'Eau. Access to the commune is by Route nationale N1 from Baie-Mahault in the west which passes along the southern border of the commune and continues south as the N4. The N5 branches off the N1 and goes north-east through the centre of the commune and continues north-east to Morne-a-L'eau. The N11 branches off the N5 on the south-east of the town and continues north-west then west rejoining the N1. The D106 road also goes north from the commune to Vieux Bourg. The Route du Palais Royal passes north-east through the commune to join the N5. The Route de Chazeau branches from the Route du Palais Royal and goes north-east to Doubs.
Access to the Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport is from the N11.
Les Abymes is integrated into the urban area of Pointe-à-Pitre and, like the rest of the island, has a tropical climate.
Localities and hamletsEdit
The islands have been occupied since pre-Columbian times. Some remains have been found in the Dothémare area but the most remarkable were those found in Belle Plaine where surveys conducted by the Direction régionale des affaires culturelles (DRAC) in 2006 revealed the existence of a sizeable town dated from 1000 and 1200 AD (Troumassoid culture).
The first village, located a few kilometres from the current urban centre, was founded in 1691. It consisted of a few houses and experienced some development through the cultivation of sugar cane, cocoa, and coffee. A Parish Church was built in Les Abymes in 1726.
Les Abymes belongs to the community of communes called Cap Excellence which brings it together with Pointe-à-Pitre and Baie-Mahault. The commune is divided into three cantons:
- Canton of Les Abymes-1;
- Canton of Les Abymes-2;
- Canton of Les Abymes-3, which also includes part of Le Gosier.
(Not all data is known)
Les Abymes has twinning associations with:
In 2010 the commune had 58,534 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1961. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1]
Most of the economic activity of Les Abymes is related to the presence of the Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport (formerly Aéroport du Raizet). The airline Air Caraïbes has its headquarters in Les Abymes.
Although not a resort, Les Abymes is the second most important economic centre of Guadeloupe after the industrial zone of Jarry. The Milénis shopping centre is located in the commune. The "Family Plaza Complex" including a multiplex cinema, a shopping mall, and a leisure centre is due to open in 2015.
There are several educational institutions in the commune:
Public primary level:
Public junior high schools:
- Collège du Bourg ;
- Collège du Raizet ;
- Collège Alexandre-Isaac ; (named after Alexandre Isaac, Senator)
- Collège Saint-John-Perse ;
- Collège Excellence-Sportive ;
Public sixth-form colleges/senior high schools:
- LGT Baimbridge
- Lycée Jardin-d’Essai - General sixth-form/high school and technological high school
- LGT Félix Proto
- LPO Chevalier de Saint-Georges
Private primary level:
Private secondary schools under contract:
- Lycée La Persévérance - private school for general and technological education
- Lycée Professionnel esthétique/coiffure
The Apprentice Training School for the Chamber of Crafts of Guadeloupe.
- Lycée Général Providence - General sixth-form/high school and technological high school
The commune also hosts the headquarters of the Rector of the Académie de la Guadeloupe ("Academy of Guadeloupe"). A new building is under construction in the Dothémare-Providence ZAC scheduled for completion in the first quarter 2015.
The University Hospital (CHU) of Pointe-à-Pitre / Les Abymes was the largest on the island in 2013 bringing together some 40 hospital services covering all medical fields with a total capacity of 862 beds with 319 doctors, 120 interns, and 3,000 hospital workers. The hospital is to be rebuilt at Perrin (commencing 2016 for delivery in 2019).
The Polyclinic of Guadeloupe is located at Morne Jolivière and is a private care centre with a total capacity of 110 beds including 20 beds for maternity.
- The Sonis Cultural Centre
- The Renée Élie Hall at Chazeau
- The Joseph Théodore Faustin Hall
- A Multiplex Cinema at the "Family Plaza Complex" (under construction, expected completion June 2015)
- The Félix-Proto Community Centre (under construction, expected completion end of 2015)
Culture and heritageEdit
The commune has a number of buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments:
- A Revenue Office on Rue Frédéric (1932) 
- The former Town Hall on Rue du Général Delacroix (1933) 
- A Sepulchral Monument on Rue du Général Delacroix (1932) 
- The Joseph Ricou Hospital on Rue de l'Hôpital (1931) 
- The Market in the Place du Marché (1931) 
- The War Memorial (1937) 
- The Petrelluzzi House at Morne-Fleuri (20th century) 
- The Mamiel Dwelling (19th century) 
- Other sites of interest
- The mangroves
- The Taonaba Mangrove House
- The Perrin and Belle Plaine Channel
- A Memorial from 1889 for the centenary of the French Revolution
- The Abymes, Land of convergence Monument at the entry to the town showing the location of different communities on the island.
- La Mulâtresse Solitude (1772–1802), a statue erected in 1999 in the Baimbridge district in memory of resistance against slavery, by the sculptor Jacky Poulier.
- A Statue of Nelson Mandela erected in 2014 at the Petit-Pérou roundabout in memory of the President of South Africa, by the sculptor Jean Moisa
The commune has two religious buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments:
- The Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception (1930) 
- A Presbytery at Rue Schoelcher (1932) 
- Other religious sites of interest
- A Hindu Temple
- A Calvary
- Sports Facilities
- The Stade René Serge Nabajoth (capacity: 7,500 people)
- Inter-communal Swimming Pool at Dugazon
- Golf (9 holes)
- The Centre of Sports Resources, expertise, and performance (CREPS) of Antilles Guyana is located in the commune, on an area of 9 hectares on the site of the old Darboussier stadium.
- Sports Clubs
- Jeunesse Sportive Abymienne, football and Handball
- Le Siroco, football
- Jeunesse Evolution, football
- La Juventa, football
- la MJC Abymes, football, Basketball
- JCA (Jeunesse Cycliste des Abymes), cycling
- CSCA (Convergence Sportive Cycliste des Abymes), cycling
- VO2C (Vélo d'Or du Centre de la Caraïbe), cycling
- AS Police, cycling
- BRUC (Boisripeaux Rugby Club), rugby
- Admiral T (born 1981), reggae-dancehall créole artiste
- Christine Arron (born 1973), athlete
- Blackartel (born 1974), artiste of reggae, ragga, and dancehall
- Nathalie Dechy (born 1979), tennis player
- Adrianna Lamalle (born 1982), athlete
- Gianni Mina (born 1992), tennis player
- Michel Morandais (born 1979), basketball player
- Thomas Phibel (born 1986), footballer
- Florent (born 1981), basketball player. Older brother of Mickael Pietrus
- Mickaël Piétrus (born 1982), NBA player, 11th pick in the 2003 NBA Draft to the Golden State Warriors.
- Jacques Schwarz-Bart (born 1962), jazz saxophonist
- David Sommeil (born 1974), footballer
- Ronald Zubar (born 1985), footballer
- Philippe Guillard (born 1961), rugby player
- Ludovic Vaty (1988), basketball player
- Kery James (born 1977), rapper, producer, interpreter
- Pascal Chimbonda (born 1979), footballer
- Teddy Riner (born 1989), judoka
- Livio Nabab (born 1988), footballer at SM Caen
- Wilhem Belocian (born 1995), athlete
- Miguel Comminges, professional football player
- Karla Homolka aka Emily/Leanne Bordelais, convicted serial killer
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Les Abymes.|
- Les Abymes official website (in French)
- Guadaloupe General Council website (in French)
- Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport (Aéroport Guadeloupe Pôle Caraïbes) (in French)
- Les Abymes on Google Maps
- Les Abymes on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute (IGN) website (in French)
- Les Abymes on the INSEE website (in French)
- INSEE (in French)
Notes and referencesEdit
- At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by Law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002 Archived 6 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, the so-called "law of local democracy" and in particular Title V "census operations" allows, after a transitional period running from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For communes with a population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is conducted annually, the entire territory of these communes is taken into account at the end of the period of five years. The first "legal population" after 1999 under this new law came into force on 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.
- Inhabitants of Guadaloupe (in French)
- Google Maps
- List of Mayors of France (in French)
- National Commission for Decentralised cooperation (in French)
- 2013 World Travel Awards Archived 2014-11-29 at the Wayback Machine, Air Caraïbes. Retrieved on 23 November 2014.
- First stone for the Family Plaza Complex on France-Antilles on 10 January 2014. (in French)
- "LISTE DES ECOLES PUBLIQUES ET PRIVEES SOUS CONTRAT." Académie de la Guadeloupe. Retrieved on 10 March 2018.
- "Établissements du 2nd degré PUBLIC 2017-2018." Académie de la Guadeloupe. Retrieved on 10 March 2018.
- "Etablissements du 2nd degré privé sous contrat 2017-2018."Académie de la Guadeloupe. Retrieved on 10 March 2018.
- Works: Large building sites of 2014 on France-Antilles on 6 January 2014. (in French)
- CHU Pointe-à-Pitre/Les Abymes official website (in French)
- Polyclinic of Guadeloupe website Archived 2013-08-21 at Archive.today (in French)
- Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA97102003 Revenue Office (in French)
- Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA97102006 Town Hall (in French)
- Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA97102005 Sepulchral Monument (in French)
- Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA97102007 Joseph Ricou Hospital (in French)
- Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA97102002 Market (in French)
- Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA97100045 War Memorial (in French)
- Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA97100025 Petrelluzzi House (in French)
- Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA97100019 Mamiel Dwelling (in French)
- Inauguration of the first statue of Nelson Mandela in France on France-Antilles on 11 March 2014 (in French)
- Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA97102053 Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception (in French)
- Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA97102004 Presbytery (in French)