Martello Tower Mauritius
The Martello Tower Mauritius is an old coastal fort on La Preneuse Beach in the west of the island. Refurbished in the late 1990s and transformed into a museum. Martello towers, sometimes known simply as Martellos, are small defensive forts that were built across the British Empire during the 19th century, from the time of the French Revolutionary Wars onwards. Originally there were 5 of these tower fortresses along the West coast to protect the island.
The Martello Tower Mauritius is one of the best examples in the world. The towers cannon overlooks the beautiful turquoise lagoon. overlooking Le Morne mountain and Black River Gorge.
Built mainly with basalt rock. Royal Engineers were commissioned alongside stone cutters and carpenters from India . As usual slaves were used for heavy labour. With its round structure and very thick walls it was resistant to canon fire. 2 cannons were installed on the flat rooftop. These could be rotated through 360 degrees. The larger canon faced out to sea and the smaller one faced inland. The construction of the 5 towers took 3 years.
The original tower was accesses with a ladder, the door being on the second floor. A staircase has now been added inside for easy access to the upper floor which didn’t exist at the time. When you come into the tower you can see the water tank through a transparent glass. The powder store contains bullets and canon balls that have been found in the local area. When entering soldiers had to take off their shoes, so as not to create any sparks that could have caused an explosion. On the top floor, you can see various artifacts found nearby. The officer’s room gives you a good idea of how they lived at the time.
Book you holiday to Mauritius and take time out to visit this quaaint museum.