French Guiana Information
French Guiana Travel Information
French Guiana (French: Guyane française) is an overseas region of France located in South America. The territory lies in northern South America, and is sandwiched between Brazil and Suriname, and also has a long coastline on the Atlantic Ocean.
The population of French Guiana, as of 2008, was estimated to be 221,500. The capital and largest city, Cayenne, as of the 2006 census, had a population of 50,594, with a total of 100,323 people living in the city and nearby surrounding urban area.
In history, French Guiana is perhaps most famous for being the location of the French penal colony, Devil's Island (French: Île du Diable), from 1852 to 1951. More than 70,000 prisoners were deported topenal colonies in French Guiana between 1852 and 1939 (the penal settlements closed some years after the last new prisoners were sent there). Devil's Island was of course made famous by the movie, Papillon, which starred Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman.
Today, French Guiana is best known for the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou (French: Centre Spatial Guyanais), which is used by the European Space Agency, the French Space Agency (CNES), and Arianespace, as a spaceport. This location was chosen in 1964 due to its proximity to the Equator (which makes rocket launches easier), and the fact that launches could be made over water (which is important for safety). The spaceport has been operational since 1968.
French Guiana Details
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