02 Oct A short walk in the city of Port-Louis capital of Mauritius
The capital is not just a business center. It is part of our heritage, our history. Its existence dates back to 1729, when the French decided to name Port Louis, in homage to King Louis XV, in whose name Captain Dufresne d’Arsel took possession of Mauritius at the beginning of the XVII century.
Bordered on one side by the Indian ocean and on the other by the mountain forming a circus, port Louis the capital of Mauritius island, named in homage to Louis XV, is a mixture of tradition and modernity typical of Mauritius.
Protected from the frequent rains that strike the central plateau, Port-Louis benefits from a climate of an exceptional softness in winter. It is very rare that the temperatures fall below the 18 degrees. While being a city that has been for more than a century and a half administered by the British Empire, Port Louis undeniably carries France’s lease, which has many projects to expand in the city .
In the following, the British appealed to the descendants of the French for local administration for 150 years, until independence.
Port-louis, rich in many historic places, is also a city where the most modern buildings and the most typical creeks are located. It’s many shops make it a perfect destination for shopping.
It was the first French admirer of Mauritius Island, Nicolas de Maupin, who made Port Louis the administrative capital and the main port, to the detriment of Grand Port (at the time called Port Bourbon). Nowadays, the traces of this French age are still very visible in the city the paved streets and the Jardin de la Compagnie (Company’s Garden) are examples.
As you walk through Port Louis, you can discover old buildings disseminated everywhere in the middle of modern buildings. The rue Saint Georges is a beautiful emblem of this mixture of old and modern. Besides, the best way to discover Port-louis in all its splendor is to get lost.
Follow the little streets, along the canals, you can be sure to come across a jewel of the patrimony. To help you plan your visit, we propose you to discover different places of Port Louis that deserve to be seen, emblematic sites of our capital, they all enjoy a reputation tourism in any test.
Le Jardin de la Compagnie
In the heart of Port-louis, the Garden of the Company which formerly belonged to the Compagnie des Indes is a haven of greenery and shade in the heat of the capital. Popular place in Port-louis, the garden offers benches located under the immense banyan trees. Enjoy a cool break while discovering the many statues of members of former governments of the island during the colonization. You will see a slice of the life of Port Louis. Crossing the garden you will discover the account of travelers who have crossed the Indian Ocean including Marco Polo. Again, several statues are erected among which a monument in honor of Mother Barthelemy. You will also be destabilized by a somewhat peculiar earth globe. It is a globe represented by Sharif al-Idrissi. This cartographer of the court of Sicily lived in the 12th century and revolutionized the world by saying that the earth was round. But when realizing his card that remained the reference until the 16th century in Europe, he reversed the poles based on a former Chinese convention. Thus, the globe of the Garden of the Company is upside down. Surprising effect guaranteed!
Central Market of Victoria
It is impossible to walk through the streets of Port louis without going through the Central Market. The entrance is an explosion. Explosion of sounds, with the merchants shouting louder than the others to attract customers, but also, explosion of colors and scents. On all the estates are local vegetables of all shapes and colors. The scarlet reds are followed by irradiating greens interspersed with oranges and yellow. Chillies of all kinds and sizes include fresh peppers in which you feel like crunching, bredes of all kinds waiting to be put to the pan. All good Mauritian recipes come to mind during your visit. We recommend you also go for a small tour to the herbalists. The tips of use written on their small placards are very effective. You will find herbs for the ailments that may exist. Next to the entrance, a stone staircase takes you to a balcony that overlooks the bazaar and allows you to have a real view of the extent of the structure which was completely renovated in 2004.
On the Royal road, as you see two pagodas above the road, you are in china town. Besides, even without the pagodas, you can not go wrong. The Chinese shops are aligned on each side of the road, with a number of heteroclite products crammed into the windows. The labels as the name of the storefronts are in Chinese characters. The small stalls stick to each other sell all the same things. You can find in the same shop, spare parts of second hand, Chinese engravings, clothes and books. Heat, dust and strong smells of spices or Asian cuisine take you to the heart of China. In China Town, enjoy your visit to the tasty dumplings, a pow, a traditional fried or less known but equally delicious: a singaporian chicken rice (rice, vegetables and steam chicken)
Le Champ de Mars
The Champ de Mars is another site to visit, especially during the saloon of horse races (from March to December). Horse races are organized during the weekend. The crowd gathered in the center of the racetrack feasts hot badjas, while following with passion the races that follow the whole day (Saturday and sometimes on Sunday as well) The atmosphere is hot! Founded in 1812, the Champ de Mars is the oldest racecourse in the Indian Ocean and the second oldest in the southern hemisphere, a beautiful Mauritian firm.
To appreciate the visit of the Aapravasi Ghat, you must understand what “engagism” is. After the abolition of slavery, it was necessary to find another system for bringing in labor. The British government then tries the experience of engagism “. A hired worker is an individual who has agreed to leave his or her country to work in a colony, usually for a period of five years, sometimes longer. In the end, more than 2 million employed workers left Africa, Asia and part of Oceania and more than 1.2 million came from India to work in the British, French, Dutch colonies And Spanish. The importance of diaspora from these workers is historic for the Indian Ocean, as it represents the largest population migration in the region in the 19th century. In Mauritius alone, 450,000 immigrants came and went through the Aapravasi Ghat. What remains today of this building is sufficient to give us an idea of the conditions in which these workers landed on the island. When you enter, you first arrive at a house with a footprint of one of these workers. Then you go along the quay and on your right you will find the famous stone excavation which serves as emblem to this monument class World Heritage. By raising it, you can imagine what the workers who touched the land finally felt. The rest of the building shows the conditions in which they had to wait until the end of their quarantine, sanitary, housing, hospital. A beautiful history lesson.
Le Caudan Waterfront
To finish in a smooth way, the Caudan waterfront is ideal. Certainly, the Caudan is at Port Louis, but without being in Port Louis. Once the tunnel passes, the traffic noise fades. The bustle of the streets disappears, the heat is also less, a slight wind passes over the sea and sweeps the Caudan waterfront. You are spoiled for choice between pubs, terraces and restaurants that are installed all along the port.