When we read about the history of Mauritius, especially the City of Port Louis, we will learn a lot about how the island was discovered and how it progressed since, and this progress isn’t stopping yet. During the French Occupancy on the island as from 1721 and especially under the Governorship of Mahé de La Bourdonnais (1735 – 1747), we will notice how many fortifications were built in addition to common development; houses, commercial buildings, agriculture etc. Mahé de La Bourdonnais agreed with the views of the directors of the French East India Company and believed that Port Louis should be a fortified place and a functional port of call for the vessels of the Company plying in the Indian Ocean.
The reputation of the island as the pearl of the Indian Ocean brought the fear of invasion by other Kingdoms and the town of Port Louis had to be protected at all cost. Among the various fortifications built, the south approach of the town over the Grand River North West, was defended by a fort near the estuary, the Donjon Saint Louis, and the various defensive works in that part of the town. This fortification comprised of two parts, the artillery and the powder magazine. Both the ‘Battery of the GRNW’ and the Powder Magazine can still be seen today (2014) as remains of this period and could also be observed in old maps of Port Louis dating since 1755. Standing by the side of the Saint Louis river, we can also see the Canal Dayot further inland. From the Royal Road near the GRNW to Pailles Junction, the fortification can be seen uphill. It can be easily visited and accessed by the stairs found at the left of the junction.
Below Gallery of the Donjon Saint Louis and surroundings:
Click here to geo-locate the structure (opens in new window)