Port Louis

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Port Louis (French pronunciation: [pɔʁlwi]) is the capital of Mauritius. It is the largest city of the country and main port, which borders the Indian Ocean. It is located in the Port Louis District. The population is 147,688 (2003 census).

Contents

History

Port Louis was already in use as a harbor in 1638. In 1735, under French government, it became the administrative center of Mauritius and a major reprovisioning halt for French ships travelling around the Cape of Good Hope. The Port is named in honour of King Louis XV. The first Governor was Count Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais.

Geography

The City of Port Louis is located at 20°10' South, 57°31'30" East (-20.1667, 57.525).[1] Its localities include Plaine Verte, Chinatown, Ward IV, Vallee Pitot, Tranquebar and city centre. Port Louis is capital of the District of Port Louis.

Sights

Port Louis has conserved many historic and colonial buildings through the years. One of them is a fortification named Fort Adelaide or La Citadelle, built by the British in 1835. The latter dominates the city. From there, one can observe most of the city's architecture. Port Louis is surrounded by a mountain range, called the Port Louis Moka Range. Among its most famous mountains are Le Pouce and Pieter Both which stand about 800 metres from sea level. One of the most popular attractions is the country's national derby called Champ de Mars, which is the oldest race course (1812) in the Indian Ocean and the second oldest in the southern Hemisphere. Other famous destinations include the Police Barracks known as Les Casernes and the Port Louis Waterfront.

The Mauritius Institute, dedicated to the study of the island's flora and fauna, is in Port Louis. Citizens often climb up the Signaux mountain, which is a 3-km track, that leads to over 300 metres high. From there, one can appreciate the landscape of the city.

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