Mémorial ACTe

Top choice in Pointe-à-Pitre

Top billing in the French Antilles goes to this huge museum of slavery, opened by President Hollande in 2015. Housed in a spectacular silver-latticework structure on the site of the former Darboussier sugar factory on Pointe-à-Pitre's long-neglected waterfront, ACTe tackles a tricky subject head-on, with various sections dedicated to stages of the slave trade in the Caribbean and beyond in chronological order. Allow at least two hours to do the audio guide justice.

The story starts right from the beginning with the arrival of Columbus and follows the development of slavery and the culture it created in the Caribbean in a varied and attention-grabbing way. The narrative is displayed on screens and related through your headset, but it's also very effectively evoked through large art installations, some of which have been exhibited at the Louvre. Highlights include a section on the Code Noir, where you can see real iron shackles, a mock-up of a slave hut, amazing Carnival costumes, a colourful display on Rastafarianism, and a chilling part at the end on modern-day slavery and people trafficking around the world. Be aware that no photography whatsoever is allowed in the museum, not even on phones.

ACTe was declared European Museum of the Year by the European Council in 2017.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Pointe-à-Pitre attractions

1. Marché de la Darse

0.34 MILES

This popular market on the seafront in front of Place de la Victoire is Pointe-à-Pitre's main fruit-and-vegetable market. It's full of characters and you…

2. Musée St-John Perse

0.34 MILES

This three-level municipal museum occupies an outstanding example of 19th-century colonial architecture and is dedicated to renowned poet and Nobel…

3. Cathédrale de St-Pierre et St-Paul

0.51 MILES

Rather than the traditional arches, this attractively painted sand-colored church, nicknamed the ‘Iron Cathedral,’ is supported by iron girders intended…

4. Marina de Bas du Fort


Between Pointe-à-Pitre and Gosier, this marina has excellent facilities and a large number of restaurants, bars and cafes.

5. Datcha Beach

3.24 MILES

Possibly Guadeloupe's best beach, Datcha is a dreamy strip of cream-hued sand, backed by shade-giving trees and fronted by calm, reef-protected sea. The…

6. Îlet du Gosier

3.64 MILES

Just 600m off Gosier is idyllic little Îlet du Gosier, surrounded by calm turquoise waters that have some good snorkeling. Motorboats (one way €5) shuttle…

7. Valombreuse Floral Park

7.84 MILES

Nestled in the hills west of Petit-Bourg, this mature 14-hectare botanical garden includes a wide range of tropical plants and flowers, a palmery, and…

8. Plage de la Caravelle

9.32 MILES

This headland of white sand about 2km west of Ste-Anne's center is one of Guadeloupe's very finest beaches – it's the Caribbean you probably came to see…