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The island was divided in half in 1648 by the 'Treaty of Concordia' agreement. The northern part belongs to the French (Saint Martin) and the southern part belongs to the Dutch (Sint Maarten) and forms part of the Netherlands Antilles.

The Dutch occupy 13 square miles in the south. The Dutch capital Philipsburg is a popular stopover with  cruise lines and tourism forms the bulk of the island's economy. English is widely spoken on the Dutch side of the island and although the official currency is the Netherlands Antilles Florin, US dollars are widely accepted in all the stores in Philipsburg.

The French part of the island (known as the "Collectivite de Saint-Martin") occupies the northern section of the island capital Marigot. The French area is around 20 square miles of the total island area and with a population of 35,000. Before 2007 the French area formed part of Guadeloupe as a "commune" or overseas region of France and was part of the European Union. In 2007 it became a separate overseas collectivity of France with neighbouring St Barthelemy.

Philipsburg St Maarten Sint Maarten Airport St Martin St Maarten Sint Maarten Map | St Martin Map

 

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Princess Juliana Airport final approach!

Philipsburg beach

 

Cruise Ships St Maarten

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