Port Louis, named after Louis XV of France (15th February 1710 - 10th May 1774), is the largest city on the island of Mauritius and its capital with a population of some 146,121 (2021) and is located in the north-west of the island between the Indian ocean and the Moka Mountains. Taken by the British during the Napoleonic Wars and ruled until independence in 1968, the city has a mixed traditional and modern feel blending 18th century colonial buildings such as its sugar mill and bazaar with the ancient and modern Caudan Waterfront in south-west Port Louis; today a popular shopping destination located on the Le Caudan peninsula which, over the past two hundred and fifty years, has been home to an astronomic and meteorological observatory, workshops, quays, warehouses. The buildings have been adapted for modern use with, for example the old meteorological observatory now being a food court and restaurant.
Today Port Louis's economy is driven by the financial sector, business and tourism with popular sights including the remains of the Indian Ocean's first meteorological observatory largely dismantled in 1880 and the Blue Penny Museum which explores the seafaring history of the island nation. Port Louis is home to the nation's main harbour and is the only official port of entry and exit for sea vessels in Mauritius with a requirement for all ships to be cleared in the port before visiting any other anchorage in the island nation with the port itself contributing 2% to the country's GDP. The port also has a cruise ship terminal which was opened in 2010 and was the first in the Indian Ocean to be capable of handling the largest cruise ships in the world.
Tourist atractions in Port Louis include the Blue Penny Museum which features exhibits exploring Mauritius's history including its colonial period and growth over the years. Just outside of Port Louis is the Rivulet Terre Rouge Estuary Bird Sanctuary which migratory birds use during the cold months of the northern hemisphere. A protected reserve, the sanctuary has a viewing platform from where the birds can be observed with telescope. Other places worth a look while in Port Louis include the Mauritius Postal Museum and St James Cathedral, an historic building which is classified as a national heritage site in Mauritius. For those simply wanting to chill, the former vegetable patch of the French East India Company has been remodelled into the 'Jardins de la Compagnie' which are replete with vast banyan trees, statues, quiet benches and fountains. For those wanting a thrill, you can vist the gardens at night where many additional services are available. Read between the lines however, if you're not good reading between the lines, best avoid if you're adverse to red lights....
Port Louis Profile: Volunteer in Mauritius
Port Louis Profile: Port Louis City Map
Port Louis Profile: Child Sponsor Mauritius
Port Louis Profile: Mauritius Country Profile
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