Known for idyllic beaches and natural beauty, Mauritius has a captivating history too; here’s a quick glimpse at some of the main highlights.
It was around 900 A.D when Arab sailors engaged in trade in the region, first came across Madagascar which they named “Abandoned Island” though they did not settle there. At the beginning of the 16th century, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to visit the island, but they too did not establish a colony.
In 1598, the Dutch arrived and subsequently claimed the island, giving it the name used today. Though they did try to begin settlements these didn’t prove successful and were later abandoned. Amongst the best places to visit in Mauritius to find out more about local history is the Frederik Hendrik Museum which can be visited from properties like The Residence Mauritius by Cenizaro.
After the Dutch left the island in 1707, it was the French who claimed Mauritius (they named it “Île de France”) and made their first attempt at a settlement here in 1721. The population consisted of diverse nationalities including African slaves and subsequently, plantations for sugar, tobacco and cotton were set up.
The British & Independence
The British invaded and took control from the French in 1810, though they retained the French laws, customs and language. During this time, modernisation was introduced for agriculture, while slavery was eventually abolished in 1835. On 12th March 1968, the island finally became an independent state and was made a republic in 1992.