Saint Lucia (UK: /sənt luˈsiːə, -ˈluː.ʃə/ (About this soundlisten), US: /seɪnt ˈluːʃə/ (About this soundlisten); French: Sainte-Lucie) is a sovereign island country in the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. The island was previously called Iyonola, the name given to the island by the native Arawaks and later, Hewanorra, the name given by the native Caribs, two separate Amerindian peoples. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique. It covers a land area of 617 km2 (238 square miles) and reported a population of 165,595 in the 2010 census. Its capital is Castries.
Castries /kæstriːz/ (About this soundlisten), population 20,000, aggl. 53,639, is the capital and largest city of Saint Lucia, an island country in the Caribbean. The quarter with the same name had a population of 70,000 on 22 May 2013 and stretches over an area of 80 km2 (31 sq mi).
Castries is in a flood plain and is built on reclaimed land. It houses the seat of government and the head offices of many of foreign and local businesses. The city’s design is in a grid pattern. Its sheltered harbour receives cargo vessels, ferry boats, and cruise ships. It houses duty-free shopping facilities such as Point Seraphine and La Place Carenage. Many restaurants offer menus from local to Chinese. Supermarkets and other shopping facilities provide goods. The city is well served by a bus system and taxi service.
St Lucia’s main post office is in Castries. Because most parts of the country do not use standard street addresses, mail is largely sent to P.O. boxes. Any mail sent without a town name ends up in the Castries post office.
Castries is the birthplace of Arthur Lewis, winner of the 1979 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, as well as of Derek Walcott, winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature.