The Port Louis Waterfront, or as it is commonly known as the Le Caudan Waterfront, is a commercial development area located in the capital of Mauritius, Port Louis. It has gained its reputation as the first of its kind major shopping expansion on the island nation, including various shops, casinos, banking facilities, restaurants, movie theatres, and a five star hotel by the name of Le Labourdonnais.
The waterfront gets its name from a renowned figure French figure Jean Dominique Michel de Caudan, who started a saltpan towards the southwest of Port Louis in a small bay back in 1726. In the present day, it is the entrance road to the Le Caudan Waterfront, which also hosts the Robert Edward Hart Garden. Before the advent of modernization, the Le Caudan was a peninsula and home to several small enterprises and warehouses, a meteorology and astronomical observatory which went through wear and tear over the 250 years. The harbour also had a sugar factory and hence it was used for purposes related to the manufacturing and supply of sugar.
The Docks office of the waterfront has now found its new avatar in the form of the Blue Penny Museum building. The Namaste Restaurant and the Food Court once used to be the meteorological observatory, the first in Indian Ocean.
In order to commemorate the historical significance of Le Caudan Waterfront, the three wings of the complex depict the different colonial episodes:
Barkly Wharf, the main building of the complex is named after an appointed Governor and Member of Parliament of the British Government – Sir Henry Barkly
Le Pavillon Wing hints to the origin of the Port Louis when it was known as Port Napoleon.
Dias Pier is the most recent wing and is a tribute to a navigator named Diogo Dias who is believed to have recorded the Mauritius Island in the map.
Today the Port Louis Waterfront is an attractive shopping destination among the tourists and the locals as well. The Le Caudan mall, the first mall of Mauritius, is the main appealing source for those who are fashion enthusiasts and can immerse themselves in the trendy shops. The complex is also home to a popular crafts and art market, speciality shops selling souvenirs like replica ships, shops displaying paintings by local artists and locally made jewellery, centres of Indian garments and textiles, food courts and restaurants serving mouth-watering delicacies including delighting dishes from the Mauritian cuisine as well. The museum is famous for the display of two of the rarest stamps in the world. Another marvellous detail about the place is its tax free shopping options which really helps the tourists to buy things without any hesitation.
The view from the premises of the mall is just fascinating, with cargo ships coming in and out carrying large containers. A recent development in the waterfront is the Caudan Arts Centre which is expected to be operational from December 2018 and it will host operas, plays and conferences.
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How to Reach Port Louis Waterfront
It is very easy to reach Le Caudan Waterfront, the plus point being the location. you can take a public bus to the Victoria Bus terminal and rent a taxi to the waterfront. You can opt for a taxi from any part of the island as well or even rent a car or bike, as per your needs.