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Visit Port Louis

The city of Port Louis has played a leading part in the struggle between the French and British occupation (1735-1935) and was considered during that period as `the star and the key of the Indian Ocean. There are many historical places and buildings to visit. It is also one of the best place to learn and appreciate more about the Mauritian cultures and traditions.

About Port Louis

Port Louis is the capital city of Mauritius. It is mainly located in the Port Louis District, with a small western part in the Black River District. Port Louis is the country's economic, cultural and political centre, and most populous city. It is administered by the Municipal City Council of Port Louis.

 

Economy

The economy of the city is mostly dominated by its financial centre, port facilities, tourism and the manufacturing sector which include textiles, chemicals, plastics and pharmaceuticals. Port Louis is home to the biggest port facility in the Indian Ocean region and one of Africa’s major financial centers

 

Climate

Port Louis features a hot semi-arid climate. Its wettest months are from December through April where on average 60 mm (2.4 in) (or more) of rain falls during each of these months. The remaining months form Port Louis' dry season. The city also shows a noticeable range of average temperatures. Port Louis' coolest temperatures are seen mid-year where average high temperatures are around 24 °C (75 °F). During the height of the wet season, the city sees its highest temperatures where average high temperatures are usually around 30 °C (86 °F).

 

History

Port Louis was already in use as a harbor in 1638. In 1736, under French government, it became the administrative center of Mauritius and a major reprovisioning halt for French ships during their passage between Asia and Europe, around the Cape of Good Hope. The Port is named in honor of King Louis XV. During this period of French colonization, Mauritius was known as Ile de France. The French governor at that time, Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais, contributed to the development of the city. Since Port Louis was relatively well-protected from strong winds during cyclones by the Moka Mountain Range, Port Louis was selected to house both the main harbor and fort for the island. Value of the port continued during the British occupation of the island during the Napoleonic Wars (1800–15), and helped Britain control the Indian Ocean. However, port calls of ships fell drastically following the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. Activity in the port increased during the seven-year closure of the Suez Canal (starting in 1967). Modernization of the port in the late 1970s has helped it maintain its role as the central point for all imports and exports from Mauritius. While Port Louis continues to be the business and administrative capital of Mauritius, expansion of the tourism industry in the late 1990s led to considerable development in Port Louis, with many shops, hotels, and restaurants being built in the Caudan Waterfront area.

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Caudan Waterfront in Port Louis City, Mauritius

Getting In

  1. By Car
  2. By Plane; From Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, head north-west and follow the signs "Port-Louis" (Port-Louis is at the opposite side of the island, at about two hours drive).
  3. By Bus
Skyline View of Port Louis City, Mauritius
Attractions (What to See)
  1. Aapravasi Ghat (ex-Coolie ghat); Landing point for the indentured labourers, mainly from India, in the 19th century, following the abolition of slavery in 1834, and now a WV-Unesco-icon-small.svg UNESCO World Heritage site.
  2. Caudan Waterfront; The Caudan Waterfront and its surroundings has a great collection of local souvenir shops and other foreign brand materials such as clothes, and spirits. In addition to the harbour of Mauritius, you will also find the cinema, game arcades, local restaurants.
  3. Blue Penny Museum; A modern museum dedicated to the history of Mauritius and the famous legend of Paul and Virginia. The museum is also the owner of the two most famous stamps of the world: The Post Office Blue Two Pence and the Post Office Red One Penny.
  4. Citadelle (Fort Adelaide); Built in basalt by the United Kingdom in 1840, it is the only remaining fort from this period of the island. A 30 minutes walk from downtown, it gives a wonderful view on the whole city.
  5. St Louis Cathedral, Port Louis; The Saint Louis Cathedral is one of the oldest churches on the island. Designed by de Cossigny, it was built under Sir Robert Farquar as a place of worship for the people in Port Louis. Today, the cathedral finds itself in the middle of a busy city centre. In front of the church is a KFC, on the left side there is the State Bank of Mauritius, Western Union and the Supreme Court.
  6. Jummah Mosque; Rare proof of the skills of Indian, mainly, Tamil craftsmen, who also built temples and churches. A haven of peace in the middle of this busy capital.
  7. Travellers' Lane, Jardin des Compagnies; with travellers' texts ranging from Marco Polo, Duarte Barbosa to Ahmad bin Majid, as devised by poet and semiologist Khal Torabully, a travel writer born in Port-Louis.
  8. National Library of Mauritius, 59 Rue Mere, Barthelemy Edith Cavell St.

 

Things to Do

Visit the Caudan Waterfront, a meeting place for teenagers and young lovers, which comprises a shopping centre, kiddyland and a huge food court catering for all tastes. And if you want to have a glimpse of Mauritian life, go to the Port-Louis Market where varieties of exotic food, fruits and other items are sold. There you will meet Mauritians from all over the country who have come for shopping.

  1. Port Louis Theatre, Remy Ollier St.
  2. Champs de Mars. horse racing track. To get a nice view on the races, climb to the Citadelle on the neighbouring hill
Government House in Port Louis City, Mauritius
Blue Penny Museum in Port Louis City, Mauritius
Where to Stay (Accommodation)
  • Hotel Le Champ de Mars, 22 Frère Felix De Valois St.
  • Le Saint Georges Hotel, En face de l'ambassade française, 19 St Georges St.
  • Le Suffren Hotel and Marina, Nice hotel located on the waterfront (Le Caudan Waterfront)

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