What to see in Cap-Haitian, North Department

One of the wonders of the world - La Citadelle Laferrière in Milot

The Citadel is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Haiti. Directions to and history of the fortress are provided by self-appointed guides from the town of Milot. Near the entrance to Sans-Souci Palace, which is at the start of the trail to the Citadel, visitors may be asked to pay a small fee. Visitors are also encouraged to rent a horse for the uphill trek. 


About three-quarters of the way up from the parking lot, visitors must complete the final portion on horseback or on foot. The entire 7 miles trail, starting in Milot, is almost completely uphill, but can be walked by experienced hikers who carry plenty of water. Most of the interior of the Citadel fortress itself is accessible to visitors, who may also climb the numerous staircases to the fortress's roof, which is free of guardrails.

The Citadelle Laferrière  located in northern Haiti, approximately 17 miles (27 km) south of the city of Cap-Haïtien and five miles (8 km) from the town of Milot. It is the largest fortress in the Americas and was designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site in 1982—along with the nearby Sans-Souci Palace.


 The Citadel was built by Henri Christophe,  after Haiti gained independence from France at the beginning of the 19th century. The massive stone structure was built by up to 20,000 workers between 1805 and 1820 as part of a system of fortifications designed to keep the newly-independent nation of Haiti safe from French incursions. 

Built several miles inland, and atop the 3,000 ft (910 m) Bonnet a L’Eveque mountain, to deter attacks and to provide a lookout into the nearby valleys. Cap-Haïtien and the adjoining Atlantic Ocean are visible from the roof of the fortress. Anecdotally, it is possible to sight the eastern coast of Cuba, some 90 miles (140 km) to the west, on clear days. The Haitians outfitted the fortress with 365 cannon of varying size. Enormous stockpiles of cannonballs still sit in pyramidal stacks at the base of the fortress walls. Since its construction, the fortress has withstood numerous earthquakes, though a French attack never came. (Arold Estime)

Citadelle Laferrière in Milot

La Citadelle Laferriere in Milot

The Citadel is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Haiti. Directions to and history of the fortress are provided by self-appointed guides from the town of Milot. Near the entrance to Sans-Souci Palace, which is at the start of the trail to the Citadel, visitors may be asked to pay a small fee. Visitors are also encouraged to rent a horse for the uphill trek. 


About three-quarters of the way up from the parking lot, visitors must complete the final portion on horseback or on foot. The entire 7 miles trail, starting in Milot, is almost completely uphill, but can be walked by experienced hikers who carry plenty of water. Most of the interior of the Citadel fortress itself is accessible to visitors, who may also climb the numerous staircases to the fortress's roof, which is free of guardrails.

The Citadelle Laferrière  located in northern Haiti, approximately 17 miles (27 km) south of the city of Cap-Haïtien and five miles (8 km) from the town of Milot. It is the largest fortress in the Americas and was designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site in 1982—along with the nearby Sans-Souci Palace.


 The Citadel was built by Henri Christophe,  after Haiti gained independence from France at the beginning of the 19th century. The massive stone structure was built by up to 20,000 workers between 1805 and 1820 as part of a system of fortifications designed to keep the newly-independent nation of Haiti safe from French incursions. 

Built several miles inland, and atop the 3,000 ft (910 m) Bonnet a L’Eveque mountain, to deter attacks and to provide a lookout into the nearby valleys. Cap-Haïtien and the adjoining Atlantic Ocean are visible from the roof of the fortress. Anecdotally, it is possible to sight the eastern coast of Cuba, some 90 miles (140 km) to the west, on clear days. The Haitians outfitted the fortress with 365 cannon of varying size. Enormous stockpiles of cannonballs still sit in pyramidal stacks at the base of the fortress walls. Since its construction, the fortress has withstood numerous earthquakes, though a French attack never came. (Arold Estime)

The Citadel

The Citadel is located at an altitude of 900 meters and is on top of the mountain called Bonnet a L’Eveque. The military compound is 10,000 square meters in size and, in some places, has walls that are up to 40 meters in height, and up to 4 meters thick. Armed with 365 cannon, the enormous size can be explained by the fact that it was considered to be the administrative capital of Haiti and included a printing shop, garment factories, a hospital, schools, a distillery, a chapel, and military barracks. It was also built to hold King Henri’s royal family and up to 5,000 soldiers for a year if the French had ever attacked.


The Citadel is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Haiti. Directions to and history of the fortress are provided by self-appointed guides from the town of Milot. Visitors are encouraged to rent a horse for the uphill trek. The first portion of the seven-mile (11 km) trail is navigable by 4WD vehicle, although infrequent landslides and construction projects sometimes make this unreliable. 

From the mid-level parking lot, the second portion must be completed either on horseback or on foot. The entire seven-mile-trail starting in Milot, almost completely uphill, can be walked by experienced hikers who carry plenty of water. Most of the interior of the Citadel fortress itself is accessible to visitors, who may also climb the numerous staircases to the fortress's roof, which is free of guardrails. On a clear day, the city of Cap-Haïtien and the Atlantic Ocean can be seen to the north. 

Videos of Palais Sans Souci

Valerio Saint Louis of Tele Image travels to Haiti and through several interviews Explore Haiti - Le Royaume du Nord , visits the Palace of King Christophe with a tour guide, Mr. Johny Remy, brought us the history of the Palace of Sans Soucis. 

Palace of Sans Souci in Milot

Sans Souci Palace in Milot

The Sans-Souci Palace was the royal residence of King Henri Christophe I of Haiti, the self imposed monarch who as a former slave had fought in the American Revolutionary War alongside George Washington. He then went on to be a key leader in the Haitian Revolution in 1804, when the small nation gained independence from France. 

Most magnificent edifices of the West Indies

Built in 1810 and completed in 1813, the Sans Souci Palace is located in the town of Milot, Nord Department. Before the construction of Sans-Souci, Milot was a French plantation that Christophe had been in charge of during the Revolution. Infamous for his cruelty, and it is unknown how many laborers perished during construction of the palatial building. Now a ruin, the palace was once a bustling whirlwind of feasting and dancing, with grandiose gardens, artificial springs, and a system of waterworks. Enjoyed by many overseas guests, it had “the reputation of having been one of the most magnificent edifices of the West Indies.” 

Versailles of the Caribbean

A considerable part of the palace was destroyed in an 1842 earthquake that also leveled a good part of the nearby city of Cap-Haïtien, and the palace was never rebuilt. Once considered the Versailles of the Caribbean, the ruined shell of the palace is rarely visited due to the instability of the area politically. However, today it is fairly safe to visit and taxis will take you right to the steps of the ruins. Local tour guides who are trained in the history of the region hang around the foot of the palace waiting to be hired. There are also plenty of stalls set up to sell you souvenirs. After you explore the ruins of the Sans Souci palace, you can hire a taxi to take you up the mountain where you can then hire a pack horse to take you to the Citadelle.

Destination wedding at Sans Soucis palace

Preparation for Wedding - Daytime

Preparation for Wedding Reception - Nightly View

Pictures by Haitian Photographer Patrick Jerome

Preparation for Wedding - Daytime View

Stairway to Wedding Reception - Nightly View

Preparation for Wedding - Daytime (Phot. Patrick Jerome)

Nightly view of the Palace of Sans Souci - Wedding Reception

History on Palais Sans Souci... A must share!

Valerio Saint Louis of Tele Image gets the story on Palais Sans Souci... A must share! 

PIGRAN- Cité du Savoir-Génipailler - Milot - Haiti

PIGRAN- Cité du Savoir- Projet CPE / Génipailler -Milot- Haiti

Cite du Savoir, which will be at the heart of PIGraN, is being built on 28 hectares of land and consists of more than fifteen buildings spread over four sectors: university sector, school sector, service sector and agriculture sector.

Samuel Pierre - President of PiGran

It is an ambitious project: to bring together in a single place, in the north of the country, a university, schools and businesses to form a center of knowledge, the future economic engine of the region. A courageous bet, born of the Haitians' ambition to raise their country.

Ceremony of the implant the first stone

You are sympathetic to the situation of Haiti, and you want to contribute to the country's development. You are considering making a donation, but you have questions. We are here to answer to all of them, as well as accompany you throughout the process. 

Please send a note to the following e-mail address: 

infopigran@grahn-monde.org  

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Products of Haiti

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Dried Fruits