Le Morne Cultural Landscape: UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
Besides being a breathtaking natural spectacle, the mountain of Le Morne holds great importance in the history and memory of Mauritius. It was here, in the south-west of the island, that runaway slaves used to hide during the 18th and early 19th Centuries – protected by the mountain’s isolated, wooded and almost inaccessible cliffs.
The oral traditions associated with these runaways have made Le Morne a symbol of the slaves’ fight for freedom, their suffering and their sacrifice. Over the years, the location has become a symbol of resistance to slavery and a focal point for those wanting to commemorate its abolition – especially the descendants of slave communities who still live on the island.
The Final Nomination Dossier and the Draft Management of Le Morne was inscribed on to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2008.
Aapravasi Ghat: UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
The Aapravasi Ghat Immigration Depot is another UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the only surviving remnant of an immigration depot typical of those established in the second half of the 19th Century to welcome indentured labourers.
Most Mauritians trace the arrival of their forbears from this site, which welcomed over half a million immigrants between 1834 and the 1920s. It holds immense symbolical value for Mauritians, and the official commemoration of the arrival of indentured labourers is held at this site every November.
Mauritius became the seat of the ‘Great Experiment’, where the British attempted to show the world that the labour of free men and women would be more effective than slave labour.
Because the experiment proved to be successful, according to the British, it was replicated in other British colonies as well as in French, Dutch and Spanish territories. Over two million people were eventually transported to the colonies from Asia and Africa as a result.
The Second Oldest Racing Club in the World
Champ de Mars is a very popular horse racetrack: the oldest in the southern hemisphere and the second oldest race club in the world after the English Jockey Club. It has long been associated with national and political events since the official flag-raising ceremony in 1968, which marked Mauritius’ independence.
The Third Country in the World to Introduce Golf to its Shores
In 1844, under British rule, Mauritius became the third country in the world to be introduced to golf. The present-day Gymkhana Club, located at Vacoas in the island’s central plateau, has been the venue for many of the island’s major sporting activities since it was first constructed back in the 19th Century.