A Special Haitian
Preserved by a dry climate, protected by high mountains from the fury of tropical storms, and spared the worst ravages of modern development Haitian towns are an amazing collection of buildings of all ages. Imposing colonial and post colonial cathedrals and government buildings are prominent in most towns. Gingerbread style homes and buildings sprouting cupolas, verandahs and balconies and festooned with elaborate filigree are sprinkled everywhere. Some are freshly painted, others nearly barren and as weathered as a desert ghost town, some probably havent been painted in half a century. More modern structures are invariably of concrete and/or stone.
In the countryside the cottages of the peasants are also usually of stone and concrete. Most are whitewashed but many are painted the brightest of colors. Steep shaggy roofs of thick palm thatch are common. Sprinkled about on hillsides and even mountain tops they lend a storybook air to the landscape.
Fearing the return of the recently evicted French the Citadelle was constructed as a mountain-top fortress on a vertiginous peak above Sans Souci. Every stone and cannon was hauled by hand up a steep trail to the top. It is reputed to have cost thousands of lives to complete.
Although its cannons were never fired in anger legend has it the King Cristophe once used them to answer the thunder of a lightning storm as it raged about his retreat. Today San Souci is an elegant ruin but the Citadelle is remarkably intact, complete with large stacks of cannon balls still ready to repel any invader.
The Colors of Haiti
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