Mauritius - the paradise Island of Africa has always been a popular beach destination among those who are looking to spend some time unwinding in luxurious hotels with a breathtaking view of Indian Ocean and swimming in turquoise blue water. Most travellers prefer lying on the tropical beaches, under the bright summer sun. However, by not going out to explore the cities, they miss out on knowing what gem of a country Mauritius is, not only because of its lagoons but also because of its spectacular architectural beauties and vibrant culture.
One such attraction is St. Louis Cathedral in Port Louis. One of the oldest churches in Mauritius, the St Louis Cathedral was built in the year 1815 and then later promoted to a Cathedral in the year 1847. Looking at the timeline, it is interesting to know that the plans to build the Cathedral building was drawn up in 1736, the land on which the building was supposed to be built was confirmed in 1750, and the building itself completed construction in 1756. The place was not used for worship for a long time.
This was because of the war that took place for seven years (from 1756 to 1763). The building also took severe damage in 1760 due to a violent cyclone and then again in 1773 due to the same reason. In 1778, the church got the authorisation to be rebuilt on Champ de Mars street.
Everything was smooth sailing until 1795 when people noticed huge cracks in the architecture of the building and all church services were halted again. By the time the British rulership ended, the church was in the state of ruins.
The church was revived, yet again, in the year 1814. This structure stood for nearly a century, after which the effects of ageing were reasonably visible. It was decided to bring down the Cathedral building, and a brand new was built in the year 1933. The church was last renovated in 2005. Back then, the monument was famous for its fountain with four lion heads that provided water in many parts of the city but has lost its glory now.
You got to admire the tenacity of Mauritians on not giving up on the church and building and rebuilding it on sites that fell apart time and again. That is probably why it is an iconic tourist destination in the country. Right in front of the Cathedral is a park full of serenity where you could take a stroll and click beautiful pictures with the Cathedral in the background.
The Cathedral is built in a traditional European style and stands out from the surrounding structures. You can't just walk past this photogenic building without entering and spending some time here, away from the hustle-bustle of the city. This is something of a must-see attraction in Mauritius.
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