Heritage trails consist of guided visits of the National Monuments and heritage buildings located in the surroundings of the Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage Site. The heritage trails provide an overview of key moments in Mauritian History.
Heritage trails are available on request and booking on 217 7770. The guided visit is for groups of maximum 20 people.
- Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage Site
- The Parc-à-Boulets
- Immigration Square
- Rice Store / STC Building / Proposed Site for the Galerie d’Art National
- Military Hospital
- Civil Hospital
- General Post Office
- Customs area
- Central Market
Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage Site (1849-1920s)
The Aapravasi Ghat is the symbol of the Great Experiment that led to the establishment of the indentured labour system.
The Parc-à-Boulets is located in the Buffer Zone 1 of the Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage Property. In 1781, it was known as ‘Les Forges’ where a workshop was set up: ‘un atelier pour la préparation de la galgate et sarangous et pour la préparation de la plante contre les piqures des vers’. By 1791, it was renamed Parc à Boulets. According to archival sources, in 1830, a Convict Barrack was built for Indian convicts at Parc-à-Boulets which was operational until 1870 when the barrack was partially destroyed.
Rice Store / STC Building / Proposed Site for the Galerie d’Art National
Situated next to Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage Property, the rice store was used temporarily to receive indentured labourers in 1844 before the immigration depot (Aapravasi Ghat) was constructed.
Military Hospital Complex (1740)
The Military Hospital was constructed under the Governance of Mahé de La Bourdonnais. He was the first French Governor that permanently resided on the island. As such, his mission was to develop a naval base in Port Louis to secure French possessions in the Indian Ocean Region. He initiated a number of civil and infrastructural works on the island that were crucial to succeed in such development. The Military Hospital was one of the first buildings constructed as part of this colonial design.
Civil Hospital (1854)
The Civil Hospital was constructed in 1854 on the remains of a French prison for slaves called the “Bagne”. The Civil Hospital became an integral part of the health system established by the British with the aim to improve health conditions and reduce epidemics on the island.
General Post Office (1870)
The construction of the General Post Office was a watershed in the emergence of a modern communication system in British Mauritius. The island’s first modern postal service was housed in this historic building. Between the 1870s and early 1900s, several post offices were established throughout the island with the one in Port Louis serving as the headquarters of the postal department.
The General Post Office represents one of the major attempts by the colony’s British government to centralize the Mauritian postal system. It has served as the country’s main post office as well as the office of the Post Master General for more than 130 years.
During the first six years of his administration, through the use of slave labour as well as contractual workers, the French governor was able to build a windmill, a bakery, workshops, fortifications, storage facilities, and a large hospital. The objective of Labourdonnais was to provide the colonists with certain modern amenities in order to improve their lives. In 1831, the windmill was restructured by Captain Llyod who was Surveyor-General, and by 1841, it was converted into an Observatory and Signal Tower.
By the early 20th century, the local British authorities became greatly influenced by modern architectural styles from Great Britain especially when it came to the design of modern storage facilities for Port Louis harbour. Eventually, this local trend led to the construction of the ‘Granary’ building through the use of labourers who worked and lived in the harbour area. The Granary is a massive red brick building and covers an area of more than two acres. It is the largest storehouse ever built in the history of Port Louis and is the largest red brick structure in Mauritius. Its architecture was modelled on storage facilities which exist in English ports such as Liverpool.