The Great Salt Pond

The Great Salt Pond next to Philipsburg is historically one of the most important areas of the island.  Salt: fun facts salt was of cricial importance for food conservation during 17th and 18th sea voyages. In addition, Dutch side St. Maarten’s salt was an export product. The large saltlake in conjunction with the natural harbor of Great Bay guarded by amongst others Fort Amsterdam and Fort Willem made Philipsburg an excellent salt trading post.


Work on the Philipsburg salt pans was hard saltpickers monument. After extraction of salt in the shallow waters, salt was stored salt warehouse next to the landmark courthouse and shipped from what is now known as the Captain Hodge Pier, one of the main cruise ship moorings in Philipsburg.


Over time, some parts of the Great Salt Pond have been filled, amongst others with excavated materials in the Fort Willem Area. Amongst others the St. Maarten Government building, festival or carnival village go where locals go and the University of St. Martin are built on land gained from the lake. Most famously, Philipsburgs main artery WJ Nisbeth or “Pondfill” road reminds of the towns expansion into the salt lake. The central roundabout  of Pondfill Road with the Saltpickers Monument still remains of the arduous work at the pans.


A smaller salt lake can be found on the French side of the island around L’Esperance Airport( SFG)/ Grand Case.


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