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As an overseas territory of France, Martinique is “a little bit of France in the Caribbean Islands.” Martinique has a splendid blend of the French and the Caribbean in its culture, language (Antillean Creole or Créole Martiniquais), music and cuisine. First sighted by Christopher Columbus in 1493, Martinique’s original inhabitants were the Carib Indians. It wasn’t until 1635 that the first European settled in the island, Frenchman Pierre Belan d’Esnambuc. It was d’Esnambuc’s nephew, Jacques-Dyel du Parquet who developed the island into a rich and wealthy colony. Martinique formally became a French colony in 1658. During a string of wars and uprisings, Martinique fell into the British rule: during the Seven Year’s War, during the French Revolutionary Wars and during the Napoleonic Wars. Eventually, the island reverted back to the French crown.