The Citadel Mauritius

Found atop a hill (Petite Montagne) at about 100 metres altitude is a fort called the Citadel in the city of Port Louis. Situated in a very strategic point with an open view of the harbour and the entire city of Port Louis, the Fort is also called Fort Adelaide after the wife of William 1V dating to when the British possessed the island. Designed by Colonel Cunningham, the fort was built in the beginning of the 19th century and achieved a few years later; Indian and African slaves helped in the building of the fort the purpose of which was to inform the British army of any approaching enemy.

The building itself is made up of large rough rectangular blocks that have turned greyish black over time. It has been made in the Moorish style with horseshoe arches and houses quarters for the army, water gallons and powder reserves. There is supposedly an underground tunnel leading from the fort to the harbour thus providing a quick means to reach the harbour in case of enemy invasion. Fort Adelaide was one of the four forts to be built to defend the island against attackers and which has been successfully saved from ruin unlike the other three forts which are Fort William, Fort George and Fort Victoria also found in Port Louis.

Sadly, shortly after the fort was built, most signs of war threats vanished making the fort useless. Today the fort has been turned into a national monument offering breathtaking views of the city with the tall skyscrapers (Caudan Waterfront, State Bank, Bank of Mauritius), the open ocean and harbour and the Port Louis Moka Ranges as backdrop. It is a common touristic area because of the views that it offers so don’t forget your camera when visiting the fort!
The fort has been renovated and used up to recently as arena for concerts and plays. But all these have ceased now and

Fort Adelaide just stands as an old fort recalling the time when the British feared enemy attack. The fort can be reached via a 10 minutes’ walk up the hill or can be accessed by vehicles via a well paved road. The vegetation around is mostly grass; interestingly the ornate day gecko, endemic to Mauritius, has been spotted in the surroundings. It is a great place to enjoy sunset or to jog for the locals. Actually a revegetation plan is being done at the Citadel where one hectare of land is to be replanted with native trees like the Round Island Hurricane Palm, Velvetleaf Soldierbush, Bois de Pipe to name a few.

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