Saint Pierre and Miquelon is an overseas territory of France in the Northern Atlantic Ocean, located at Fortune Bay's entrance, approx 25 km (16 mi) from Canada's Newfoundland Island (Burin Peninsula). The islands are located approx 3820 km (2373 mi) west of Brest - nearest seaport in mainland France (Europe). St Pierre and Miquelon has total area around 242 km2 (93 mi2) and population around 6,000.
This French overseas territory is self-governing, and the only remnant of New France (French colonial empire in North America) still controlled by France. The archipelago is composed of all 8 islands (two of which inhabited).
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon islands were discovered by the Portuguese in 1520. They became New France territory in 1536, but were not permanently settled until 1670. In 1670, they were annexed by a French officer who found French fishermen camping there. By the early 1700s, the isles again became uninhabited and in 1713 ceded to the British. After the Seven Years' War (1754-1763) and under the Treaty of Paris (1763) France ceded all its North American territories, with the exception of Saint-Pierre et Miquelon colony. Under the treaty's terms, France maintained its Newfoundland coastal fishing rights.
In 1778, during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) Great Britain invaded and destroyed the colony. Its entire population (around 2,000 at the time) was sent to mainland France. In 1793, British troops landed in the town of St Pierre and expelled its French population replacing it with British settlers. Their colony was in turn raided and sacked by the French in 1796. The uninhabited islands were officially returned to France again by the Treaty of Amiens (1802). They were resettled in 1816.
St Pierre Island has a total area of 26 km2 (10 mi2) but the most populous (has the isles' main population). The town is also the archipelago's commercial and administrative center. On this island is also located the Saint-Pierre Airport (operational since 1999) also serving long-distance flights even from Europe (France). Still, all flights from and to St Pierre pass through Canada operated seasonally from Sydney (Nova Scotia) and Stephenville (Newfoundland), and year-round from Halifax (Nova Scotia), Montreal (Quebec) and St John's (Newfoundland).
Miquelon-Langlade island is the group's largest, composed of two isles. Miquelon Island (area 110 mk2 / 42 mi2) is connected by a sandy isthmus (length 10 km / 6 mi) to the Langlade Island (area 91 mk2 / 35 mi2). In the Miquelon Island's northern part is located a small village (population around 700), while Langlade is uninhabited.
The third isle (uninhabited) is L'Isle-aux-Marins - located a short distance to the east from St Pierre Island. It was first settled in 1604, but since 1963 is uninhabited.
Another small-sized (also uninhabited) island is located east of St Pierre and called L'Ile-aux-Vainqueurs. Near the St Pierre Island's northernmost tip is the uninhabited Grand Colombier Island.
Saint Pierre Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Saint Pierre and Miquelon dock (anchor) at Saint-Pierre - port town on the St Pierre island's eastern coast. There is a ferry service from Newfoundland to St Pierre.
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