10 Fun Facts About “The Spice of the Caribbean”

  1. Grenada’s Grand Etang National Park is home to the only population of Mona monkeys outside of Africa, thought to be descendants of primates that stowed away on slave ships in the 1700s.
  2. The River Antoine Rum Distillery, in operation for more than 200 years, is the home of the oldest functioning water-propelled distillery in the Western Hemisphere.
  3. Carriacou is the only place in the world to experience Shakespeare Mas, a Carnival celebration where costumed participants compete to recite passages from Shakespeare’s works; those who forget lines receive a sharp whack from their opponent’s stick.
  4. Grenada is home to two “backwards” forts. Most Caribbean fortifications face the sea to prevent attack by hostile fleets, but Fort Frederick and Fort Matthew face inland, built by the French to deter a British overland invasion.
  5. Inspired by the French Revolution, a slave revolt launched in 1795 nearly succeeded in expelling the British from Grenada. The rebel army eventually numbered more than 14,000 and controlled the island for over one year but was defeated in battle in 1796; leader Julien Fedon escaped and was never captured.
  6. The flag of Grenada has a conventional pattern of stars and geometric fields with one interesting exception: In a green triangle on the left side of the flag is a depiction of a yellow and red nutmeg, a nod to the fact that Grenada is one of the world’s top nutmeg producers.
  7. Grenada’s Underwater Sculpture Park, installed in 2006, was the first of its kind in the world.
  8. The bottom of Grand Lake Etang has never been found.
  9. Leaper’s Hill gets its name from the suicidal leap taken from the peak by a group of Carib-Indians who were cornered by French troops and chose to leap to their deaths rather than submit to capture. Sauteurs, the closest town, is French for “jumper.”
  10. In 1970, Grenadian born Jennifer Hosten became the first woman of color to win the international beauty pageant Miss World since its establishment in 1951. In 2020, the movie “Misbehaviour” recounted the special moment in history.