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PIRATES’ CEMETERY

CIMITERO DEI PIRATI

Between the end of XVII and the beginning of XVIII century the Eastern coast of Madagascar was the centre of piracy. At that time the loot gleaned in the Caribbean was not as reach as it used to be and the British and French naval policy had drastically reduced the profits coming from there. From the shelter of Madagascar pirates plundered ships returning from the East to Europe leaden with riches.
Sainte Marie provided the buccaneers with secure shelter because it is not far from the main island but it is far enough to allow them to be independent from the natives’ chiefs. That is the reason why it became the centre of their operations. Overgrown by some mysterious kinds of plants, the cemetery has a mysterious atmosphere and it is the primary touristy site. Many engravings on the stone markers are not clearly visible. One gravestone was carved with a skull and crossbones and you can read on it: Joseph Pierre 1788 – from his friend Hulim. Wanderers, pray for him”. One of the most famous pirates was William Kidd, also knows as Capitan Kidd. He spent most of his career as a pirate plundering merchant ships in the Indian Ocean: after a long siege he landed on the island, but as his ship was badly damaged, he ordered to sink it and to hide the booty on the island. Some research expeditions have found out in the Bay of Den Forbans the ruins that are thought to be of that ship and a few meters deep some authentic wreck’s of pirates’ ship.

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