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Lighthouses, Our Heritage...
A lighthouse is important to guide captains of the seas in their navigational process. Most lighthouses that exist worldwide, look like a tower as architecture and have a system to emit light from a lens structure to perform their respective tasks. Mauritius has known some lighthouses since it was colonized. Very few still exist and are operational today, while others are inactive. This post will be on the 4 main lighthouses in our country: Albion, Pointe Aux Cannoniers, Ile Aux Fouquets and Flat Island. Among them, only 2 are still active!
Pointe Des Cavernes
Commonly known as Albion or Pointe Aux Caves, the Pointe Des Cavernes lighthouse is located on the West coast of Mauritius. It is the most popular operational lighthouse locally due to its beautiful surroundings, precisely the Albion’s cliffs, which attract photo and video shoots from amateurs and professionals. Built during the mandate of Sir Cavendish Boyle, the lighthouse was inaugurated in 1910. At that time, the light emitted was visible at a distance of more than 30km away. Unfortunately, you cannot visit inside the lighthouse without permission from the authority. The regions are well-known for agitated waves, particularly partly from the sea of Médine until Montagne Jacquot. Several drownings have occurred there and a lighthouse is useful to alert sea captains about the dangerous cliffs ahead.
Another operational lighthouse in Mauritius since 1855, is Flat Island. Located around 11km away from the North of the mainland, this island was used as a quarantine place during the period of Malaria and Cholera in the 1860s. The sea around Flat Island is most of the time dangerous, particularly when the weather deteriorates. Several vessels have been drowned there. Flat Island can be visited by the public and it is permitted to hike up to the lighthouse. However, accessing inside the lighthouse requires approval from the authority. On the top of the island, you can enjoy the magnificent northern coasts and also have a glance at the nearby islets such as Round, Serpent, Gunner’s Quoin, or Gabriel. Do check out the best islets to visit in Mauritius.
Pointe Aux Cannoniers
Move on to the North of Mauritius, situated a French Fort built in the 18th century to protect the region against invaders. Cannons were placed on the coasts for safety and defensive reasons. These cannons can still be seen today. Among the buildings, there was a Martello tower, and a lighthouse was added to it in 1855. The lighthouse is classified as National Heritage and it is presently in the Le Cannonier Beachcomber hotel property.
Ile Aux Fouquets
Finally, we end this article with Ile Aux Fouquets lighthouse, also known as Grand-Port lighthouse in the 19th century. Built-in 1865, it was used mainly to guide the ships which entered the area in that era. Grand-Port was the primary location for the port in Mauritius but Mahé de Labourdonnais moved it to Port-Louis in the 1740s. The lighthouse, currently inactive for several decades, is on an islet known as Fouquets or Phare. It is also classified as National Heritage and can be visited easily through catamaran or speedboat packages. Unfortunately, due to fewer activities in the region in that period, the lighthouse was abandoned and today, it is in ruin! Watch a video of it below and also do check this link for the best islets to visit in Mauritius.
An Heritage We Need To Preserve
To conclude, we are blessed to still have some lighthouses on our island. They are a real beauty and must be preserved. There were other lighthouses too, located in different places like Pointe Aux Sables and Port-Louis, but they are all inactive.
AUTHOR: Ali J (Administrator)
PUBLISHED DATE: January 14, 2021
LAST UPDATED: November 29, 2021
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