UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Mauritius
There are 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Mauritius.
Aapravasi Ghat: Listed by UNESCO in 2006. Located on the bay of Trou Fanfaron, in the capital of Port Louis. Aapravasi Ghat is the remains of an immigration depot. In 1834, the British Government chose Mauritius to be the first place for what was called ‘the great experiment’ for using free labour to replace slaves. Between 1834 and 1920, almost half a million contracted labourers arrived from India at Aapravasi Ghat to work in the sugar plantations or to be transferred to Reunion Island, Australia, southern and eastern Africa or the Caribbean.
The Depot buildings you can see at Aapravasi Ghat are among the earliest type of what was to become a global economic system and one of the greatest migrations in history. It represents not only the development of the modern system of contractual labour, but also the memories, traditions and values that these men, women and children carried with them when they left their countries of origin to work in foreign lands. Currently, less than half of the Immigration Depot area survives.
Le Morne Cultural Landscape: Listed by UNESCO in 2008. A rugged mountain that juts into the Indian Ocean in the south-west of Mauritius. It was used as a shelter by runaway slaves, maroons, through the 18th and early years of the 19th centuries. Protected by the mountain’s isolated and almost inaccessible cliffs, the escaped slaves formed small settlements in the caves and on the summit of Le Morne. This UNESCO world heritage site is testimony to resistance to slavery, in terms of the mountain being used as a fortress to shelter escaped slaves, with physical and oral evidence to support this.
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Images courtesy of Mauritius Tourist Board