Culture and Heritage Mauritius

Heritage

Modern life and the old buildings harmoniously blend past and presents well as traditions and modern technology. 



Monuments, Buildings and Statues

The impressive Place D' Armes Avenue in Port Louis, guides visitors into the city decorated with statues of various figures in Mauritian History and leads to the 18th Century French Colonial buildings of Government House.

Along a cultural itinerary in Port Louis, one can see the Theatre of Port-Louis built in the 19th century and known as being the oldest of the region. Further up, the Champ de Mars is a very popular racetrack, the oldest in the southern hemisphere and the second oldest race club in the world after the English Jockey Club. It has often been associated with national and political events since the official flag-raising ceremony in 1968 marking the independence of the country.

Aapravasi Ghat - UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE

The Aapravasi Ghat Immigration Depot is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the only surviving remnant of an immigration depot typical of depots established in the second half of the nineteenth century to welcome indentured labourers. 

Most Mauritians trace the arrival of their forbears from this site, which welcomed over half a million immigrants between 1834 and the 1920s. It holds immense symbolical value for Mauritians and the official commemoration of the arrival of indentured labourers is held at this site every 2nd of November. 

The indenture system became the seat of the “Great Experiment” whereby the British would try to show the world that the labour of free men and women rather than slave labour would be more effective. Because the experiment proved to be successful in British terms, it was replicated in other British colonies as well as in French, Dutch and Spanish colonies. Over two million people were eventually transported to the colonies from Asia and Africa.

Le Morne Cultural Landscape - UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE

Besides being a splendid and breathtaking landscape, which deserves a visit, Le Morne holds great importance in the history and memory of Mauritius. Immersed in the history of slavery, Le Morne is also a symbol of resistance to slavery and has become a focal point for commemorating the Abolition of slavery in Mauritius. The mountain and its surrounding landscape hold a sacredness that is ardently venerated not only by some slave descendant communities, but also by many other stakeholders, who cherish the relatively unspoiled landscape and the powerful aura that the mountain exudes.

Le Morne is today a rallying point for Mauritians from all walks of life who are deeply concerned about the country‘s heritage in terms of its history, its culture as well as the natural environment that is becoming an increasingly rare and valuable commodity. It has thus become an emblem of national consciousness in terms of history, memory and identity. 

The Final Nomination Dossier and the Draft Management of Le Morne has been inscribed to UNESCO's World Heritage list.


Museums

Take the time to discover the spirit and the different facets of the island through its museums. Each one of them has its specificity to appeal to your field of interest. Mauritius offers a variety of Museums – History Museum, Tea Museum, Postal Museum, Photography Museum, Maritime Museum and wood museum.

National Museums:

The Natural History Museum, Port-Louis

A classified building in the list of historical monuments, displaying land and marine species and also a Dodo skeleton as well as images of other extinct or endangered species.

The oldest stuffed specimen in the museum is the Mauritian Dutch Pigeon which was killed in 1826. A skeleton of the Rodrigues Solitaire, discovered in Caverns Patate in 1900, is also exhibited in this gallery. Other important scientific treasures in the museum are the unique and incomplete skeletons of the Mauritian Red Rall and the giant Mauritian lizard (the biggest lizard in the world) and a pickled specimen of the extinct Round Island Burrowing Boa

The National History Museum, Mahebourg

An old colonial house dating from the 18th century depicting the main episodes of Mauritian history. Old maps, delicate china, corsairs’ swords, ancient powder guns and remnants of shipwrecks tell a rich human story



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