Basse-Terre is a port town on the southwestern coast of Guadaloupe's Basse-Terre Island - an overseas territory of France in Lesser Antilles (Eastern Caribbean). The town is the country's administrative capital and has a population of around 12,000 (urban around 45,000), ranking it the second-largest in Guadaloupe - after Pointe-a-Pitre (Grande-Terre Island).
The settlement was founded in 1635-49 by French colonists from Saint Kitts and Nevis. In 1759, Basse-Terre Island was conquered by the British, devastated, and occupied by them until 1789. In 1764 was founded Pointe-a-Pitre and soon developed as the main seaport due to its better protected from swells harbour.
In August-November 1976, 73,600 inhabitants of Basse-Terre were evacuated due to Soufriere volcano's eruptions. many evacuees never returned and relocated to Pointe-a-Pitre.