Introducing St-Pierre & Miquelon
Twenty-five kilometers offshore from the Burin Peninsula floats a little piece of France. The islands of St-Pierre and Miquelon aren't just Frenchlike with their berets, baguettes and Bordeaux, they are France, governed and financed by the tricolore.
Citizens here take their national pride very seriously – some even feel it's their duty to maintain France's foothold in the New World. Locals kiss their hellos and pay in euros, while sweet smells waft from the myriad pastry shops. French cars – Peugeots, Renaults and Citroëns – crowd the tiny one-way streets. It's an eye-rubbing world away from Newfoundland's nearby fishing communities.
St-Pierre is the more populated and developed island, with most residents of its 5300 living in the town of St-Pierre. Miquelon is larger geographically but has only 700 residents overall.
The fog-mantled archipelago has a 20th-century history as colorful as its canary-yellow, lime and lavender houses. Going further back, Jacques Cartier claimed the islands for France in 1536, after they were discovered by the Portuguese in 1520. At the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763, the islands were turned over to Britain, only to be given back to France in 1816. And French they've remained ever since.