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If the coastline offers multiple places of historical and cultural visits, the center may seem to lack interesting sites. The urban agglomerations of Beau Bassin in Curepipe are above all places of residences and businesses. However, some places are worth visiting for their history, places of worship or the innovative side of museums in particular. Between nostalgia and discovery of a Mauritius in transition, follow the guide.

Rose-Hill

We start with Rose Hill, which for a long time was the temple of culture in Mauritius thanks to the Plaza. This magnificent old-fashioned theater and its village hall have hosted major events. If the party hall has finally been restored, the theater is still waiting for a renovation that would restore its former glory. You can always walk in the courtyard where a beautiful sculpture stands, La Fontaine des Arts. Directed by the sculptor Nirmal Huree and the decorator Serge Constantin, it is the very expression of a time when the city was the scene of great cultural events. The famous art gallery Max Boullé also housed regular exhibitions of Mauritian artists.

In the courtyard of the Plaza, there is also a Silambou erected by the International Movement for Tamil Culture of Mauritius. High 6 m 35, this column in a basin represents Mauritius floating on a lotus.

We can then continue on the Royal Road where two Catholic churches offer different architectures. The first, Montmartre offers a modern architecture, lean profile seeming to touch the sky. Our Lady of Lourdes a few meters further, is a very busy parish that dates from 1890 to the classical structure. Both are open to the public.

Another interesting place of worship in Rose Hill is the Draupadi Ammen Kovil (better known as Moorghen Temple) at Gladstone Street. The temple is named after Draupadi, the wife of the five Pandava brothers in the epic Mahabharata. It is also decorated scenes of this episode of the Bhagavad Gita, sacred book of Hindus and also the life of Shiva and Ganesh, deities revered by the Tamils. The temple worker, who has been working there for 50 years, will be happy to tell you the operating principles of this place of worship.

Fair of Quatre Bornes

foire_de_qb

In the neighboring town of Quatre Bornes, another Kovil is renowned both for its location and for the Cavadee festival celebrated twice a year. Typical of Tamil art, it was built, like many temples in Mauritius, by an Indian immigrant, in this case Vella Mooroogan in 1897. The Siva Subramanya Thirukovil is better known as Kovil Mountain or the Mountain Church because The temple seems suspended on the mountain of the Corps de Garde and the devotees have to climb nearly 241 steps to reach it. The ascent is worthwhile because from up there, one enjoys an impregnable view on the Plaines Wilhems, of Moka with Curepipe and on the west coast until Flic en Flac.

Another attraction in Quatre Bornes is the fair which is held on Thursdays and Sundays. A true souk now found throughout the island, this bazaar located in the city center has nevertheless kept its reputation for doing good business. There are mostly clothes of all kinds, curtains, housewares. However, quality is not always at the rendezvous and counterfeits are well established.

Leaving Quatre Bornes, we make our way to Moka to visit a beautiful Creole house, Maison Eureka (photo at the head of the article). Typical colonial building from the 19th and early 20th century, it belonged to the family of the famous writer Jean Marie Gustave Le Clézio. Almost contiguous to the Montagne Ory, the all-wood house, entirely renovated by the new owners, is set in a beautiful garden in the center of a beautiful wooded park. Close by runs a river at the bottom of a ravine and you can go up to the waterfall that you hear whisper.

The visit of the house is done with a guide and one discovers a furniture in solid wood, resulting from the trade exerted by the companies of the French and English Indies.

Curepipe – The centre of the island

We then leave Moka to go to Curepipe. First stop in Phoenix in the industrial zone of Valentina at the Mauritius Glass Gallery (MGG). Opened in 1991 to recycle glass waste from the former Mauritius Breweries Ltd (beverage manufacturer) and Phoenix Camp Minerals, the gallery has its own workshop, the only one in Mauritius. You can visit it and discover the art of the wind tunnel. Before entering, we pass in a gallery where enthroned footprints of many international stars, footballer, singers, politicians, who came to Mauritius. You can also make your own prints

The visit ends in the shop where a multitude of memorabilia or useful accessories await you.

Let’s go to Vacoas now just for a photo stop on the road to Reunion, a little before Winners. Here, three places of worship are gathered side by side: a shivala, a kovil and a mosque. The latter is in fact surrounded by the kovil. A striking example of peaceful coexistence in Mauritius. Then we go up the road to Floréal until Trou aux Cerfs, the sleeping volcano. Tourist place very busy and now reserved for pedestrians, it dates back about 700 000 years. Culminating at 605 meters above sea level, overlooking the city of Curepipe and the district of Floreal, it allows to see virtually the entire island on a clear day. But the most visible remains the Wilhems Plains to the chain of Moka and the west coast to the Montagne du Rempart. The descent to the crater is possible but risky in rainy weather, which is often the case in Curepipe.

The center of Curepipe, about two kilometers away, is home to a few historic buildings including the prestigious Royal College. Designed by the Mauritian engineer Paul Le Juge de Segrais, director of public works, the current blue basalt stone building is inspired by Buckingham Palace. The building was inaugurated in 1941 and was expanded several times thereafter to accommodate a growing number of students. He retained, however, his original silhouette. In 1921, the imposing memorial to the Unknown Soldier of the First World War 1914-1918 was erected in front of the facade with a French hairy man and an English tommy. You can read the names of Mauritians who have “fallen on the field of honor for freedom and justice”

You can also visit the Saint Helena Church. Abusively called “basilica”, the church of St. Helena, neobyzantine inspiration, has a particular architecture borrowed from the Roman Empire found in the dome and the Romanesque with the cross structure. It stands out from the other churches of Mauritius with its imposing dome and the huge tower of its bell tower. As for the Sainte-Thérèse Church, of Neo-Roman style with its high bell tower, it is the largest of the island. She was visited by Pope John Paul II during his apostolic journey in October 1989.

Another interesting place to visit in Curepipe, the Domaine des Aubineaux, a beautiful Creole house set in an immense green setting. The Estate offers a visit related to the history of tea and then continues to the factory and the fields of Bois Chéri.

We finish our visit at La Brasserie, at the exit of the city. There is the oldest boat model making workshop in Mauritius, and perhaps in the world, Comajora. More than fifty employees make models in six sizes from 35 cm to 4 meters. It is undoubtedly also the only workshop which can be visited. Comajora also offers a museum of 82 models retracing the evolution of boats through the centuries from the year 690 BC until the sixties. You can also see a reproduction of the Battle of Grand Port.

The town of Curepipe is the second biggest town in Mauritius after Port-Louis, with a population nearing 100,000 habitants. This beautiful town, nicknamed the city of lights, will conquer your hearts both during daytime and at night. From colonial relics to nice restaurants to beautiful gardens, Curepipe has much to offer visitors.

With cooler temperatures compared with coastal regions you will feel a lot more at ease in this part of the island. Due to its position in the rainy plateaus in the centre of the island, in Plaines-Wilhems, Curepipe offers some relief from the heat of the beaches. So do not hesitate to leave your hotel room or villa to enjoy the nice environment Curepipe has to offer.

Here is a little anecdote on the origins of the name Curepipe?

‘Curer sa pipe’ means ‘clean your pipe’ in French ; folktale brings to light that the place now called Curepipe got its name from the fact that Napoleon’s soldiers and other travelers making the journey from Port Louis to Grand Port would stop here to clean their tobacco pipes. Hence the name!

What to see in Curepipe?

Town Hall of Curepipe and other Colonial buildings

Town Hall Curepipe at Night
Town Hall Curepipe at Night

Wandering around the centre of Curepipe, you can’t miss the Town Hall. An imposing and majestic building from the 19th century has kept all its magnificence in the very center of the town. You will also be charmed by the stunning Royal College as well as the charming Carnegie Library, home to many historical manuscripts. You will also come across the Basilica St-Helene and the St- Therese church, built in 1922 and 1869 respectively, are both preserved relics of the past you will have the chance to discover while visiting Curepipe.

Royal College Curepipe
Royal College Curepipe

Curepipe Botanical Garden

If you are in the vicinity of the Route du Jardin in Curepipe town, take the time to have a stroll in the Botanical Garden. Created here in 1870 by the descendants of the first French colonists, the gardens are a real haven of peace- if you are in search of a peaceful spot. The two hectares of gardens are full of veritable botanic treasures and boasts the national plant of Mauritius, the Mauritius Trochetia!

Curepipe Botanical Garden
Curepipe Botanical Garden

The gardens are brimming with rare and endangered exotic and indigenous specimens that you can discover whilst walking around the garden’s paths. For smaller ones, a beautiful playground awaits them. The Curepipe Botanical Gardens is the second largest gardens in Mauritius after the Pamplemousses Garden.

The MUST-SEE Volcano : Trou-aux-Cerfs

Apart from its colonial buildings and garden, this Mauritian town boasts numerous natural wonders which are, really, worth a visit. One of these is a volcanic crater, the Trou-aux-Cerfs, 300m round and 80m deep, which have been dormant for thousands of years. It remains one of the eldest volcanoes of the island.

Trou_aux_Cerfs_Mauritius
Trou aux Cerfs

Covered in luxuriant vegetation, its summit is 600m above sea level and easily accessible on foot or even by car. Trou-aux-Cerfs is bound by a circular road and connecting paths allow for a descent into the crater. The access to cars around the crater is now prohibited, but a special parking is provided for visitors.

The best time of day to enjoy the surroundings of this natural marvel is late in the afternoon, for panoramic views of the region and the town of Curepipe. At sunset, if weather permits, you can appreciate a magnificent view over the whole island at different spots around the volcano. If you’re lucky enough, you might even be able to spot neighbouring Reunion Island on the horizon.

Domaine des Aubineaux

Want to escape the hustle and bustle of the town? A visit to the colonial mansion Domaine des Aubineaux is the best way to enjoy peace and serenity in this town. The Domaine gives you the chance to learn more about the life of a Mauritian family in colonial times.

Domaine Des Aubineaux
Mansion at Domaine des Aubineaux

The Mansion of the Domaine des Aubineaux was built in 1872 in a classic colonial style, and in 1889 it was the first residence on the island to be outfitted with electricity. The plantation was transformed into a museum in 2000, and today it marks the first stop on the historical La Route du Thé .

What to do in Curepipe?
Shopping

Curepipe remains one of the most famous towns for shopping. In the surroundings of Curepipe- Floreal- you will come across many duty free shops specialized in different types of goods. Here are some shops you will come across:

Ship Models Shops

Le Port Ship Model
Le Port Ship Model

For top-notch and affordable Ships model head towards Le Port in Floreal. There, you will come across unparalleled miniature of beautiful ships.

Jewelry

Ring
Craft Gallery- Diamond Ring

If you are looking for diamonds you can head towards the factory shop- Adamas but if you are looking for quality and high class Jewelry, do pass by the Craft Gallery which is just on your way while going to Trou- Aux- Cerfs. You will definitely be conquered by its diamonds, pearls and other precious stones.

Craft Gallery Pearl Ear Rings
Craft Gallery Pearl Earings

 

Clothing- Cashmere, Pashmina and Branded Clothing

Pashmina
Pashmina

For Cashmere and Pashmina clothing you can find great products at the Craft Gallery at unbeatable prices and for Branded clothing Volcano club remains the best duty free shop. For a broader choice of shops you can also head towards Private Collection which is at the foot of Trou-Aux-Cerfs where you will not only have the chance to do shopping, but where you will also be able to contemplate a beautiful Manoir and magnificent miniaturised replica of the Eifel Tower.

Carpets and Furniture

Carpets
Carpets

For carpets and antique furniture, Toshkana is the place to be and if you still aren’t satisfied you can have a look at the Antiquaire! Both shops offers quality furniture with unequalled designs.

Taste some delicious cuisine

Restaurant Curepipe

Curepipe also boasts some great restaurants. Central, Café Hong Kong, Chinese Wok, Ginger or Pot-de-Terre are all unique restaurants which will all stimulate your taste buds in different manners. If you want good Chinese food, do test Chinese Wok, Central or Café Hong Kong. If you’re more for fine cuisine, Ginger remains the best choice but if you want simple Mauritian cuisine, head for Pot-de-Terre which offers great Mauritian dishes well accompanied by our local beer- Phoenix!

Nightlife In Curepipe

Curepipe At Night
Curepipe At Night

At night Curepipe put on all his lights and shines brighter than anything else on the island. You will come across beautifully decorated streets, a magnificent fountain in the middle of the city and a vast number of nice things to do.

One of the biggest casinos in Mauritius

Casino Mauritius
Casino Mauritius

Curepipe is the place to be for those of you who are adepts of Casino Games! Of all the casinos in Mauritius, the one at Curepipe remains the biggest and most famous. If you decide to go there, make sure you have time to spare because the casino has no fewer than one hundred and fifty slot machines as well as Roulette, Blackjack and Poker tables where you can put your luck at test!

Karaoke Pubs

Apocalypse Grill
Apocalypse Grill

Music lovers? Singers? Guitar players? You’ll certainly love Apocalypse Grill in the LakePoint complex next to the Town Hall and the Casino. Apart from offering delicious BBQs for dinner, you will have the chance to take the stage and share your talents with its small. Singer or not, do not hesitate to take the mic and show off. You will certainly enjoy a nice moment with its musician or the troop of youths that usually enjoy some time there scratching their guitars for the pleasures of the audience.

Night Clubs

You will come across only one night club in the city- Xindix Night Club- which streams Indian music remixed in a unique style. It’s usually open only on Fridays and during the week-ends.

Bowling

Lucky Strike Curepipe
Lucky Strike Curepipe

Bowling lovers, you will love Curepipe. In the Manhattan Shopping complex you will find the lucky strike where you can enjoy an evening playing bowling with your family and even have your dinner there.

As you can see Curepipe is a complete town offering different pleasure s for different personalities. Everyone will find something to do in the City of Lights. So enjoy your trip around Curepipe and enjoy to the max before going back to your hotel!