The Government House in Port Louis is one of the oldest building we can find still standing graciously and dates back since the French colony. Whilst it wasn’t originally like it looks today, the Government House began construction under the first french governors of the island, namely Nicolas de Maupin (1729 – 1735) and Mahé de Labourdonnais (1735 – 1746) and served as the residence of the latter. It served as the venue for the Governor’s official business, as well as the many receptions and functions hosted by the occupant.
Mahé de La Bourdonnais established Port Louis as a naval base and a shipbuilding centre. Under his governorship, numerous buildings were built, a number of which still stand today: part of Government House, the Chateau de Mon Plaisir at Pamplemousses and the Line Barracks. The island was under the administration of the French East India Company which maintained its presence until 1767.
Originally the building consisted of a wooden compartment covered with palm leaves and in time this structure was replaced by a one-storey building during the times of Nicolas de Maupin. Mahé de Labourdonnais later converted this part into a larger surface area at the ground floor in 1738 and the building was then named Hôtel du Gouvernement. With time and under the colonies of both the french and the british the building knew even more changes and additions to take the final form of what we know today.
The front view of the Government House lands on the Place D’Armes and the harbour, and can be said to be the heart of the city. Today it would look like below (mobile phone photography)