Port louis Travel Guide

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Caudan Waterfornt,Port-Louis, at Sunset, 14 Sept 2004

Caudan Waterfornt,Port-Louis, at Sunset, 14 Sept 2004

Jonathan Permal

Capital and main port of Mauritius, Port Louis was founded by the French governor, Mahé de Labourdonnais, in 1735. The harbour lies sheltered in a semi-circle of mountains. The town has plenty of character, and shows in certain quarters of its past elegance. Off the main square, palm-lined Place d'Armes, there are some particularly fine French colonial buildings, especially the Government House (eighteenth century) and the Municipal Theatre, built around the same time. There are two Cathedrals, Anglican and Catholic, a Mosque, a chinese Casino, a fine Supreme Court, some 18th century Barracks, a Natural History Museum. 

To see a fascinating cross-section of Mauritian life, visit the lively covered market. Champs de Mars, originally laid out by the French for military parades is now a racecourse. The best high-up views of the racecourse, town and harbour,are from a splendid boulevard called Edward VII Avenue and from Fort Adélaide, a citadel fortified in the time of William IV. South of Port Louis is Le Réduit, French colonial residence of the former Governor-General of Mauritius, set in magnificient gardens. From Port Louis you can drive through the residential townships of Beau Bassin, Rose Hill, Quatre Bornes and Vacoas.

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