Champ de Mars Racecourse, Port Louis

Champ de Mars Racecourse, Port Louis (must see)

Champ de Mars is a famous thoroughbred horse race track. It was inaugurated on 25 June 1812 by the Mauritius Turf Club (MTC), which is the oldest horse-racing club in the Southern Hemisphere and the second oldest in the world. The track follows a very selective right-hand oval path and is relatively small in size, with a circumference of 1,298 meters (4,258.5 ft) and a width between 12 and 14 meters (39 and 46 feet). The home straight extends uphill and is 225 meters (738 ft) long.

Before the establishment of the racecourse, the area was a military training ground for French troops. The founders of the Mauritius Turf Club aimed to set up horse racing at Champ de Mars to reconcile the French settlers with the English administration, who had conquered the island in December 1810. They believed that the convivial atmosphere of horse racing would foster unity between the two communities and ensure social peace and harmony after years of fighting in the Indian Ocean.

The Champ de Mars racecourse has played a fundamental role in propelling horse racing as the most popular sport and form of entertainment among the local population. The racecourse attracts tens of thousands of people on each racing day during the racing season, which runs from late March to early December, making it the ultimate meeting place for racing fanatics from all over the island and even from abroad.

The track has undergone significant improvements over the years, with the addition of new facilities while retaining the colonial aspects of the racecourse. Notable royal visits to Champ de Mars include those of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

The Champ de Mars racecourse has a rich history, and its founder, Colonel Edward Draper, is known as the "Father" of the Mauritius Turf Club. The main road leading to the racecourse is a landmark known to race enthusiasts as "Rue Government." Within the premises stands a statue of King Edward VII by the sculptor Prosper d'Épinay and the Malartic Tomb, an obelisk to a French governor.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Port Louis. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Champ de Mars Racecourse on Map

Sight Name: Champ de Mars Racecourse
Sight Location: Port Louis, Mauritius (See walking tours in Port Louis)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Port Louis, Mauritius

Create Your Own Walk in Port Louis

Create Your Own Walk in Port Louis

Creating your own self-guided walk in Port Louis is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Port Louis Introduction Walking Tour

Port Louis Introduction Walking Tour

Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius, is a major commercial port and the island's main city with a wealth of colonial past carefully preserved and reflected in the local architecture, rendering Port Louis a colorful blend of the French, Indian and African influences. To explore the city's main attractions, follow this orientation walk.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 Km or 3.7 Miles