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La Citadelle: Historic Fort Revival Plan Unveiled



La Citadelle: Historic Fort Revival Plan Unveiled

Perched proudly on its hill, known as “La Petite Montagne”, overlooking Port-Louis since 1840, La Citadelle, also known as Fort Adelaïde, is in dire need of a thorough makeover.

The Economic Development Board (EDB) has launched an international tender to find local investors/developers to revitalize the historic fort.

The EDB’s document of tender specifies that the development model will be defined in due time and may be considered as a public-private partnership (PPP) or any other applicable model.

The objectives are multifaceted, with the goal of making the site a tourist attraction, capturing the hearts of visitors, and contributing significantly to the country’s economic growth and cultural enrichment.

The site, which has been entrusted to the Ministry of Tourism, has not achieved the expected success.

Apart from a few sporadic events, including the last concert held on October 21, which was marred by intimidation and violence by a group of masked men, La Citadelle has not been utilized extensively. The last musical event held at the site was in 2007.

However, the EDB hopes to change this by revitalizing the site and making it a world-class tourist destination.

The vision for the regeneration of Fort Adelaïde is to preserve its historical significance while creating an integrated, vibrant, and world-class tourist site.

The chosen operator will have access to the building itself, as well as the surrounding state-owned land, spanning approximately 24.87 acres.

The EDB emphasizes that the historic structures and artifacts that make Fort Adelaïde unique must be meticulously preserved and integrated into the overall design.

The fort’s rich history dates back to 1834, when construction began under the reign of King William IV’s wife, Queen Adelaide.

The construction was completed in 1840 at a cost of approximately £40,000, making it the most expensive construction project on the island at the time.

The shortage of labor was so severe that construction was suspended for nearly three years.

The fort’s original purpose was to serve as a British military outpost to house troops stationed on the island and to monitor potential uprisings in Port-Louis before the abolition of slavery.

It was also designed to be used as a defense post in case of war with France or if France decided to attack Mauritius from its neighboring bases in Réunion and Madagascar.

The construction of the fort involved a diverse workforce consisting of Indian convicts, Indian workers under contract, British military officers, Mauritian prisoners forced to work on public projects, Mauritian apprentices, artisans brought from Bombay, Indian masons, and British royal engineers.

It is imperative that any development plan respects the historic significance of La Citadelle and its importance as a national monument.

The EDB is seeking collaborations with local artists, artisans, and cultural organizations to ensure that the development showcases Mauritius’ rich cultural and historical heritage.

La Citadelle is a testament to Mauritius’ rich history and cultural heritage, which is worth preserving and showcasing for future generations.

Source: Defi Media

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