Schoelcher Library, Fort-de-France, Martinique

The Schoelcher Library, located in Fort-de-France in Martinique, is a public library. It is located at the corner of Liberté St. and Victor Sévère St., facing the north corner of Savane Square. Victor Schoelcher, deputy of Guadeloupe and Martinique (1848-1850) had a collection of 10,000 books and 250 musical scores but since he had no descendants, he left his collection to the General Council of Martinique under condition of create a public library. The building was built by Pierre Henri Picq. The building was built in the garden of the Tuileries in Paris and was first presented to the Parisians (1886-1887), before being dismantled and shipped by boat to Fort-de-France to be rebuilt. Unfortunately, most of the original books disappeared with a large fire in 1890. The library finally opened in 1893. The building, built on a square plan, has a large dome that illuminates the reading room. There is a mix of art nouveau, western classical and Egyptian art and some Byzantine influences. Names of great French writers decorate friezes. There is a very colorful mosaic exterior pediment.


If you visit Fort-de-France, it’s worth some time to see the library and its building.

If you are lucky, you will find exhibits on site.