Fort Adelaide, Port Louis

Fort Adelaide, Port Louis (must see)

Fort Adelaide is a testament to the early years of British rule in the country. The fortress was built in the 19th century, specifically between 1834-1835, by Colonel Thomas Cunningham, and its construction was a challenging task due to the shortage of labor at the time, caused by the recent abolition of slavery. To build the fort, the British government initially relied on apprentices, freed slaves, prisoners, and even some soldiers. However, due to the lack of skilled labor, the government was forced to recruit stonemasons, masons, workers, and other craftsmen from India in 1837 to complete the construction.

The primary objective of building the fort was to protect the port from possible invasion and to quell any potential revolt from the local population. It was named Fort Adelaide in honor of Adelaide, wife of King William IV of England, and bears her initials and crown on the entrance pediment. Although the fort was never used for military or police purposes, it remains one of the few witnesses of the period between the abolition of slavery and the arrival of indentured laborers.

Unlike other forts built during the British period, such as Fort William and Fort Victoria, which have fallen into decay and oblivion, Fort Adelaide is the only one that remains intact. It is made of black basalt stones and is a testament to the skill of the craftsmen of the time. The fort was completed in 1840 and became a symbol of the beginning of Indian immigration and the end of slavery, not only because of those who contributed to its construction but also for the reasons that led to its construction.

During the 1830s, tensions ran high in Mauritius, which had recently come under British rule. The French established on the island were unhappy about the loss of the island and the prohibition of the slave trade, followed by the abolition of slavery. News of the French Revolution of 1830 only added to the tensions. The population of the island consisted of whites, people of color, and slaves, and the British authorities were concerned about the possibility of enemy attacks or a revolt. The construction of Fort Adélaïde was approved to provide defensive support in the event of invasion or revolt. The hill of Port-Louis was chosen as a strategic location to control the city, port, and slopes of the mountain.

When the fort was completed, the situation on the island had greatly improved, and it lost its original purpose. Instead, it was used to signal fires and the arrival of important personalities with cannon fire, or simply for daily cannon fire. Over the years, it has changed its vocation and has become a place of cultural initiatives, such as concerts, shows, and other events. Despite its change in purpose, Fort Adélaïde remains an important landmark in Mauritius and a symbol of the island's complex history.

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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Fort Adelaide on Map

Sight Name: Fort Adelaide
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