The Central Market
Or how to take the pulse of Port Louis. This large covered market, located north of the Place d’Armes and at the doors of Chinatown, is full of spices, meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, herbal teas with many virtues, but also items especially for tourists ( textiles, basketry) … All sold by Indians, Creoles, Chinese, in an uninterrupted cacophony. Rigorous bargaining and attention to pickpockets.
Opposite the port, a large alley aligns its royal palms and makes the link between the statue of Mahe La Bourdonnais (1699-1753), appointed governor of the island in 1735, and the Government House, the oldest building of the island, typical of the colonial period. You are here on the Place d’Armes, in the heart of the historic center of Port Louis.
The National Museum
The dodo, emblem of Maurice, a species of big pigeon with atrophied wings unable to fly, disappeared in the 17C. Here you will have the opportunity to see a reconstruction, which may justify a visit to the Natural History Museum whose collections are, it must be said, little value.
The Chinatown, very commercial, is the most picturesque of the city. Despite the appearance of modern buildings, it has preserved old houses more or less dilapidated, balconies with wrought iron balconies upstairs and colorful shops on the ground floor. The stalls overflow on sidewalks, like caves of Ali Baba. In the center of the district (Louis Pasteur, Rémy Ollier and Corderie Streets) are concentrated the fabric stores. Do not miss strolling in these teeming streets.
The Jummah Mosque
Behind its carved wooden door and its white and green facade, the Jummah Mosque, built in 1852, is the most beautiful religious building on the island. It hides a charming shaded patio, a haven of peace and freshness in the heart of the bustling Chinatown. Only the men are allowed to cross the colonnades behind which the faithful proceed in silence to their ablutions around the basin.
Crossing the imposing portal, offers a large common space, where the ablutions are practiced, a purification with primordial water before all the prayers. For special occasions, such as during Friday prayers, 3,000 faithful pass through these gates.
The blue penny Museum
The name of this museum does not deceive: are actually exposed here exceptional old stamps (including the famous Post Office of 1847). But we can not recommend too much the visit of the Blue Penny Museum for its very beautiful collections declining the history of Mauritius and its capital through engravings, maps, photos, paintings … A journey through time, from the discovery of the island today through an evocation of the legend of Paul and Virginia.
The museum is pleasant, very didactic, narrating very well the history of Mauritius and its population.
Everything is very well explained and staged, even the story of Paul and Virginia, avoiding us to read the book.
In short, it would be a shame to go to Port Louis without seeing this museum.
Beautiful Colonial Houses
An epidemic of malaria struck the capital of Mauritius in 1865, and Port Louis then experienced a vast exodus, including its rich residents who settled in Moka and St-Pierre. Today, beautiful colonial houses remain in their wake.
The Creole house, traditionally built in wood, stands on two levels and can be accompanied by a floor that increases its surface area and therefore respond to the expansion of the family. Note the beautiful homes that rise to our 20, 25 and 32 bis St. George St., in a quiet area west of the Champ de Mars.
The ascent of Pouce is a fairly easy hike, preferably in the morning. You take a dirt road in the cane fields on 1 km, then a path that leads you to the first plateau in 30 minutes. There, you take the path on the right to reach the summit (812 m) where one enjoys a superb sight on Port Louis, the cities of the center and, in the east, until Flacq and the sea .