The State House or The Château of Réduit is the official Residence of the President of Mauritius. Originally Le Réduit, it was built as a fortress for defence against attack by Pierre Félix Barthelemy David in 1749. The mansion is in Réduit, Moka, near of the University of Mauritius and the end of the Plaines Wilhems District. It used to serve as the residence for former governors of Mauritius, but now it is the residence of the President. It’s built on 240 acres (0.97 km2). The château has a garden where a multitude of flowers grow, as well as exotic and native trees. The château is open to the public two days a year, in October and March. The house has persisted through history; it was destroyed by a cyclone, rebuilt, and has been renovated since.
The other side of the structure with the garden view.
Images shared by: Keeran Chhaganlall
Under the British rule, many modifications were brought to the Château. It needed extensive repairs after damage caused to it by cyclones in 1868 and 1892. The Château was saved from complete destruction during the cyclone in 1892 by the efforts of Governor Sir Henry Jerningham and his assistants. Sir Hesketh Bell was known to have taken an interest in the gardens of Le Réduit. He created an islet in the middle of the lake, linked by a bridge. He also installed a fountain on the north side of the Château. He also introduced many plants from Kew Gardens, London, and other plants from Ceylon.
In 1921, he constructed a memorial named “Le Temple de l’Amour” in Pierre Félix Barthelemy David’s memory. This is situated near the ornamental lake at the end of the garden called “Bout du Monde” – from where one can see below the confluence of the rivers Profonde and Cascade. There is a marble inscription on the floor of the memorial which reads:
“TO M. BARTHELEMY DAVID / Gouverneur de l’Isle de France 1746 / the creator of Le Réduit / his Grateful Successors”