Port Louis Landmarks and Monuments
(Port Louis, Mauritius)
Port Louis is where you can find most of the historic landmarks on Mauritius
. This island has been an important hub of travel and trade for centuries, and so there are some impressive old structures like the Citadel, the Municipal Theatre, St. James Cathedral and St. Louis Cathedral.
The shrine of Pere Laval is one of the sights you must experience whilst in Port Louis, especially if you have any interest in religious devotion. Pere Laval's Shrine is dedicated to the French Catholic missionary and priest Pere Jacques Desire Laval and is the most important religious site in Mauritius, if not the entire Indian Ocean realm.
Address: Jules Koenig Street, Port Louis, Mauritius, MU
Port Louis has a charming theatre in the city centre which holds regular performances throughout the year. Opened in 1822, this London-style theatre is the oldest in the Indian Ocean region. The Municipal Theatre can accommodate some 600 guests on its three different levels and boasts a lovely domed ceiling, adorned with grand chandeliers. Performances are usually held at 20:00 most evenings, although do bear in mind that tickets generally need to be arranged in advance.
Open hours: daily - 20:00 to midnight
Pere Laval's Shrine
Address: Cite La Cure, Port Louis, Mauritius, MU
Tel: +230 242 2129
Many miracles are attributed to this shrine, making it akin to Lourdes. The shrine becomes a hive of activity around September 9th (the anniversary of Pere Laval's death in 1864), when pilgrims come from far and near to commemorate his death. You can catch a Friday service at 13:00 and 17:00, or just take in the ambience. The reach the shrine, buses frequently depart from the bus station on Immigration Square and may be signed either 'Pere Laval' or 'Cite La Cure'.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 08:30 to 12:00, 13:00 to 16:45, Sunday - 10:00 to 12:00, 13:00 to 16:00
Address: Chinatown, Royal Street, Port Louis, Mauritius, MU
One of the more surprising elements of the ethnic makeup of Port Louis is the Chinese community. The Chinese have a long tradition of business on the island and have established an interesting Chinatown neighbourhood and market area. Head to Royal Street and enter the Friendship Gate to step into another world, bustling with activity and oriental landmarks. The streets around the city's vibrant Chinatown, such as Corderie Street and Emmanuel Anquetil Street, are a great place to enjoy a meal, with Chinese restaurants being in good supply and serving up delicious Cantonese fare.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Fort Adelaide (Citadel)
Address: Suffren Street, Port Louis, Mauritius, MU
This impressive fortress, known locally as the Citadel, is a great place for panoramic views and a sense of old Mauritius. The structure appears rather like a Moorish fort, being built by the British in 1840. Its hilltop location affords excellent panoramas over the harbour and Port Louis. It takes about ten minutes to walk up the street to the Citadel, were its restored barracks are now home to a series of fashion boutiques.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 08:00 to 20:00
Place d'Armes / Government House
Address: Place d'Armes, Port Louis, Mauritius, MU
The Place d'Armes is the city's principal thoroughfare and leads towards the majestic Government House, an impressive French colonial landmark built in the late 1730s and fronted by a statue of Queen Victoria. Located on the quayside end of the Place d'Armes is a further statue, this time of Bertrand-Francois Mahé de La Bourdonnais (1699 to 1753), a French naval officer who became a governor of Mauritius. The Mahé de La Bourdonnais statue is particularly iconic and regularly features on promotional material of the city.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Churches and Cathedrals
Address: Port Louis, Mauritius, MU
The city of Port Louis contains a number of important places of worship, with several standing out from the crowd. St. James Cathedral is especially fine and stands on Poudriere Street, where it dates back to the middle of the 19th century and is the most historic Anglican church in the whole of Mauritius. Also very notable is St. Louis Cathedral, which is situated on Bourbon Street / Sir William Newton Street, close to the Loreto College, and was completed in the early 1930s, being very much favoured by the resident Chinese community. Located on the Monseigneur Leen Avenue, the Marie Reine de la Paix Chapel and Shrine is another fine religious landmark and was famously the place where Pope John Paul II once held a mass during his visit to Mauritius in October 1989.
Open hours: daily - hours vary
Admission: free, donations welcomed
Address: Royal Street, Port Louis, Mauritius, MU
A prominent Mauritian mosque, the Jummah Mosque is to be found on Royal Street, next to the aptly named Jummah Mosque Street and close to the Merchant Navy Club. This attractive building is open to members of the general public, who are able to explore the inner courtyard and enjoy the mixture of Creole, Indian and Islamic architecture. Do note that the mosque is closed on Fridays and also during the Ramadan period.
Open hours: Monday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday - 08:00 to 12:00, 14:00 to 16:00