Philipsburg, Sint Maarten

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
View on Great Bay towards Phillipsburg, Capital of St. Maarten
View on Great Bay towards Phillipsburg, Capital of St. Maarten
Nickname(s): Town
Philipsburg, Sint Maarten is located in Sint Maarten
Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
Location in Sint Maarten
Coordinates: 18°01′25″N 63°02′45″W / 18.0237°N 63.0458°W / 18.0237; -63.0458
State  Kingdom of the Netherlands
Country  Sint Maarten
Island Saint Martin
Columbus landed 11 November 1493
Established 1763 (by John Philips)
Population (2006)
 • Total 1,338

Philipsburg is the main town and capital of the country of Sint Maarten. The town is situated on a narrow stretch of land between Great Bay and the Great Salt Pond. It functions as the commercial center of Saint Martin island, whereof Sint Maarten encompasses the southern half. As of 2006, it has 1,338 inhabitants.

The island was first sighted by Christopher Columbus on 11 November 1493, but there was already an Arawak settlement there before his discovery. Philipsburg was founded in 1763 by John Philips, a Scottish captain in the Dutch navy; the settlement soon became a bustling centre of international trade. Two historic forts bear witness to Philipsburg's strategic importance in St. Maarten's history: Fort Amsterdam and Fort Willem.1

The main shopping district, Front Street, is in the heart of the city. Philipsburg also has a port that is visited by many cruise liners, ships like Celebrity Solstice, Crown Princess, Disney Magic, and since 2010, Oasis of the Seas.

Princess Juliana International Airport

Corsair Boeing 747-300 on short final

World famous for its close-proximity photographs of landing aircraft, Princess Juliana International Airport (IATA: SXM, ICAO: TNCM), west of Philipsburg, has become for many a reason in itself to visit Sint Maarten.

Due to its short runway (2,180 metres, 7,200 ft), airplanes on approach for Runway 10 have to fly at unusually low altitudes, overflying mere 10–20 metres (30–60 ft.) over nearby Maho Beach.

Jet blast from departing aircraft is also another 'attraction' as it creates artificial waves. However, jet blast is physically hazardous so viewers need to exercise caution; local authorities placed a warning on the airport's fence to alert people to the dangers of jet blast.

Climate

This area typically has a pronounced dry season. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Philipsburg has a tropical savanna climate, abbreviated "Aw" on climate maps.2

References

External links

Coordinates: 18°01′25″N 63°02′45″W / 18.0237°N 63.0458°W / 18.0237; -63.0458