Located in the western part of Port Louis, Fort Adelaide, which was named after Queen Adelaide, explains the initials we will find on the structure of the main entrance of this monument. Built some 240 feet above sea level, La Citadelle (Fort Adelaide) has for decades served the strategic purpose of protecting the port from enemy attack.
But to be able to contemplate this imposing monument, the visit starts from below. The best way to get there for a complete visit is by walking. Starting from the Champ de Mars, it takes between 20 and 30 minutes to walk up the hill, passing through Shakespears Street. Already the smell of horse stables, the smell of hay and the whinnying of the horses suggests a setting from the distant past. After having exercised your muscles for a long time, you arrive on the plateau which gives a marvellous view of the eastern side of the capital, i.e. the Champ de Mars, Tranquebar, the Signals mountain, the Dauguet and the highly respected Marie Reine de la Paix.
But the best is yet to come. You still have to walk a few hundred metres, but the terrain is much more manageable. Don't worry, you can get there by car too, but forget the fun that goes with it. However, once at the top, the Citadel stands with its construction of basalt rocks hand-cut by local craftsmen and the finishing work of immigrant workers from India mainly. It is with amazement that we contemplate the immensity of this fort which has for decades protected Mauritius.
Today the management of this monumental site is ensured by the municipality of Port-Louis in collaboration with the local tourist office. Under the bright sun and the north wind which is present in altitude, we begin the visit of this place as surprising as historical. The four high walls of the fort are only deceiving. Inside, mysterious corridors, huge open rooms, small halls all built with the very durable basalt rock. Moreover, you will be surprised by the exhibition of the cannons used by the occupants to defend the island.
Let's take the stairs that lead to the top of the fort. This is the most beautiful sight you will have the chance to see during your stay in Mauritius. Looking towards the harbour, the dance of the boats in the harbour assures. Further to the right, the activities in the gantry area are even more enticing. And even more to the right? The M1 motorway presents itself as a long serpentine line where the cars look like ants going back and forth and that's not all, the scene that is offered to you is even more fantastic with the North coast of Mauritius and the imposing islet, Coin de Mire.
The bonus point? There are two. If you arrive at the Citadelle on a Saturday you get to experience the full-scale Mauritian races, and if you arrive on an evening, you get to see a light show as the city lights up.