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Notes on the Geography of Mauritius: Mauritius 1: Port Louis: Photo 37

world pictures Mauritius: Mauritius 1: Port Louis

Port Louis businesses in the old days were typically housed in buildings like these. There's a nice description of them in a 1920s guidebook: "The streets and architecture have an old-world air and would seem to date from further back than is actually the case. Restrictions imposed by the climate are noticeable everywhere in the hurricane shutters made to close flush with the walls, and in the high kerbing and deep gullies which deal with the rush of rain-water from the high lands during the wet season. There is a noticeable absence of outside signs or indeed, of anything not strictly necessary, which might suffer from the fury of the winds."

The phrase "fury of the winds" may be an allusion to a hurricane in 1892. The next year a "great fire lapped up what the hurricane had left in the principal business area of Port Louis."

See Union-Castle's The South and East African Year Book and Guide for 1929, p. 821. The quotation about the fire comes from the autobiography of Sir Charles Bruce, governor in 1900. See his Milestones on My Long Journey, 1917, pp. 91-2.

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