Timings : All Day
Time Required : 1-2 hours
Entry Fee : No entry fee
Considered as a jewel of the Mauritian heritage, the Place d'Armes is undoubtedly the most iconic place of the island. It stretches from the Hotel du Gouvernement all the way up to the Port Louis Waterfront. The road lined with royal palms leads to the beautiful French Colonial structure - the Government House - that dates back to 1738. Also famous by the name Sookdeo Bissoondoyal Square, Place d'Armes is the place where you can find the statues of some of the great personalities who contributed, in one way or the other, to the long and rich history of Mauritius; the buildings present in the area also reflect the deep-rooted history. Place d'Armes and the Government House are counted among the world-known monuments and sites and is a National Heritage for Mauritius as well.
Place d'Armes stands as a historic entrance for the city of Port Louis. Apart from the century-old palm trees, there statues found here is what accounts for its worldly reputation - statues of famous men, and a woman.
You can find the statue of Queen Victoria at the other end of the square. She was crowned as the Queen of the United Kingdom on 20th June 1837, and soon her rule became the second longest British monarchy. Her reign was marked by the vast expansion of the British Empire and all the countries under her control, including Mauritius.
Right behind Queen Victoria, you will find the statue of Sir W. Stevenson in the Court of the Government House. The statue was made by the Mauritian sculptor Prosper D’Epinay and raised on 21st June 1867. Sir W. Steven was appointed as the Governor of Mauritius in 1857, and he worked sincerely towards improving the quarantine conditions by starting an orphanage for the Indian children and expressed his concern over the immigration system.
The number of government schools increased under his governance and problems regarding the rail network connecting Port Louis to different parts of the island got resolved as well. He also expanded the docks of Port Louis, ordered the construction of the Municipal Canal and it was he, who erected the statue of Mahe de Labourdonnais on the Place du Quai.
Up next, the statue of Sir John Pope Hennessy stands right opposite to that of Queen Victoria. Mauritian sculptor Maurice Loumeau created the statue, and it was raised on 22nd December 1908 formerly in a place called Place du Theatre Municipale. The statue was later transferred to Place d'Armes on 11th July 1929. He was reputed as the most famous British Governors of the colony and was well known for his “Mauritius for the Mauritians” policy.
The statue of Sir William Newton is along with that of Pope Hennessy. Sir Newton was a brilliant lawyer of the Mauritian Bar during that time. Besides being a perfect friend and collaborator of Governor Pope Hennessy, he was also the Leader of the reforming movement and was appointed as the legal adviser to the Chamber of Agriculture and later he joined the Council of the Government. As the Leader of the reforming movement, Sir Newton made his contributions towards establishing the first democracy in Mauritius by introducing an open electoral system that allowed not only the English officers but also the settlers, property owners and Indo Mauritians to participate in the election. His statue has been standing since 27th September 1922.
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