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Seaport (pop., 2003 est.: 60,500), capital of French Guiana. The city was founded by the French in 1643 on northwestern Cayenne Island, which is formed by the estuaries of the Cayenne and Mahury rivers. In the mid-19th century it became a centre of French penal settlements in Guiana and was known as the city of the condemned (seeDevils Island). The prisons were closed in 1945.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Cayenne, visit Britannica.com.