Basseterre , estimated population 13,000 in 2011, is the capital of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis in the West Indies. Geographically, the Basseterre port is located at 17°18′N 62°44′W / 17.300°N 62.733°W / 17.300; -62.733Coordinates: 17°18′N 62°44′W / 17.300°N 62.733°W / 17.300; -62.733, on the south western coast of Saint Kitts Island, and it is one of the chief commercial depots of the Leeward Islands. The city lies within the parish of Saint George Basseterre and the southern part of the parish of Saint Peter Basseterre.
Basseterre is one of the oldest towns in the Eastern Caribbean. See Basse-Terre Island for the origin of the name.
Basseterre was founded in 1627 by the French, under Sieur Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc. It served as capital of the French colony of Saint-Christophe, which consisted of the northern and southern extremities of the island of St. Kitts (the centre was yielded to Britain). When Phillipe de Longviliers de Poincy was made the French governor of St. Kitts in 1639, the town turned into a large, successful port, commanding Eastern Caribbean trade and colonisation.