Reunion Island is an island that is situated in the Indian Ocean, at a distance of approximately 200 km (130 miles) to the south west of Mauritius. Earlier known as Bourbon, the island has Madagascar falling towards its west. Administratively speaking, Reunion Island is one of the overseas départements of France and shares the same status as the parts of France, situated on the European mainland. The island serves as an outermost region of the European Union, the reason why it has Euro as its currency. Reunion Island houses an active volcano, apart from some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. In the following lines, we have provided more information on Reunion Island.
Image: Jean-Marc Astesana@flickr
Fun & Interesting Facts about Reunion Island
- Reunion Island is one of the overseas départements of France.
- Reunion Island is one of the twenty-six regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the Republic.
- Reunion Island was discovered by the Portuguese in the early 16th century and was uninhabited at that time.
- The capital of Reunion Island is Saint-Denis.
- Reunion Island was claimed by the French in 1643 and named as Bourbon. French established their first colony on the island, in 1662.
- The island was renamed as Reunion Union in 1793
- Reunion Island remained a French colony throughout, except for a brief occupation by British, from 1810 to 1815.
- Sugarcane industry dominates the economy of Reunion Island.
- The main exports of Reunion Island include sugar, seafood, rum, and vanilla.
- The official currency of Reunion Island is Euro.
- Majority of the people in Reunion Island are Catholics, followed by Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists.
- Reunion Island is quite mountainous and volcanic in origin.
- Piton des Neiges, at 10,069 ft (3,069 m), forms the highest point in Reunion Island.
- The lowest point in Reunion Island is formed by Indian Ocean, at 0 ft (0 m).
- Reunion Island was the first region in the world to use the euro, mainly because of being located in a time zone to the east of Europe.
- Administratively, Reunion Island has been divided into 4 arrondissements, 24 cantons, and 24 communes.
- Reunion Island serves as a useful stop for yachts sailing from the Mauritius to South Africa.
- Juan de Nova, Europa, Bassas da India, Iles Glorieuses and Tromelin are the uninhabited islands near Madagascar, administered by the Reunion Commissioner.
- Reunion Island is divided, by its mountain range, into the lush, rainier windward side in the south and the drier leeward side in the west.
- Reunion Island sends five deputies to the French National Assembly and three senators to the French Senate.
- Reunion Island is a part of the Indian Ocean Commission.
- The culture of Reunion Island is a blend of European, African, Indian, Chinese and insular traditions.
- Reunion Creole, derived from French, is the most widely spoken language in Reunion Island.
- Official language of Reunion Island is French.