It is not only a haven of peace but a real rendezvous with history. Once known as the Pleasure Ground, Les Salines Garden has become a place of pleasure today.
Located about fifteen minutes from Port Louis, Les Salines Garden , called Robert Edward Hart Garden, is considered a place of relaxation for those who want to escape during a moment of the hustle and bustle of the capital.
The walk of Portlouisians late afternoon
Parking for vehicles, benches in the shade of tall trees, kindergarten, statues, busts and ancient sculptures that recall the rich past of this garden. During the 20th century, this garden was known as the Pleasure Ground, favorite walk of Portlouisians late afternoon, before the arrival of sugar in bulk. City dwellers could walk around while admiring the movement of tugs, barges and supply boats. Regatta competitions were organized by the Port Louis Yacht Club and the Grand Bay Yacht Club. The mayor of the time, Raoul Rochecouste, was traveling to the Pleasure Ground aboard a carriage pulled by two white horses.
Today, these activities have disappeared. The majestic view of the harbor has given way to the building of Mauritius Bulk Sugar Terminal, but the garden is full of a lot of historical memories. There is a monument that celebrates the arrival of the French in Mauritius, impressive busts Lenin (one of the leading figures of Marxism of the 20th century) and the poet Alexander Pushkin, jets of water, a monument to the first Adventist missionary Paul Badaut (1880-1948), a place where slaves took their baths, a stone building that once housed a power station to produce electricity from gas to illuminate the streets of Port Louis …
It was in 1870. Considered too expensive, the project was abandoned, and the building became the France Martin stadium. Not far from the garden, is the Western Cemetery, which houses tombs of great personalities or a real rendezvous with history.
The garden is particularly used by joggers in the morning and afternoon, as well as by picnickers, but is not frequented at night due to lack of lighting, much to the chagrin of residents. The kindergarten has lost its importance, and during the rainy season, it becomes impractical for several days.
According to historians, the history of the garden dates to the Labourdonnais era. It was the salt worker Jean Dominique Michel de Caudan who had created a saline on the site of the garden in 1726 with the objective of supplying the ships and preserving foodstuffs, hence the name of the Caudan Waterfront.