Essentials of the discovery and settlement of the island of Mauritius
More important historical events and dates - 1511 - the Portuguese invaded the island; 1598 - the island was captured by the Dutch; 1735 - France takes possession of the island and establishes Port Louis; 1810 - Mauritius became a possession of Great Britain, 1835 - abolition of slavery; March 12, 1968 – declared the independence of the state within the British Commonwealth; 1992 – the country became a republic.
For the first time Fr. Mauritius was noticed by Arab navigators sometime around the 9th century. At that time it was uninhabited and covered with dense forest. However, neither the Arabs nor the Portuguese, who discovered it in 1505, wanted to settle on it. This is what the Dutch did, who established control over the island in 1598. They also gave it its current name, naming it after the Prince of Holland - Moritz van Nassau. In 1710, the Dutch left the island, but unfortunately their stay had severe consequences on the endemic local flora and fauna. At that time, the legendary Dodo bird (from the pigeon family, over 1 m tall) disappeared due to excessive hunting, and the once widespread black ebony tree faced the same danger as a result of excessive logging. After the Dutch, the French arrived on the island and founded Port Louis in 1735 on the northwest coast of the island. Mauritius. It served as a transit point for ships that needed to resupply before continuing their journey to India. Later, the port became part of the English colony established here in 1810. After the abolition of the slave trade in 1834, the British brought here Chinese and Indian laborers bound by enslaving contracts. Their descendants make up the majority of the island's population and contribute to the diverse cultural and culinary influences that are still evident today. Until 1968, when the island gained its independence, it was under British rule.
The history of the island of Mauritius is a history of European colonization conquests. The first were the Portuguese navigators, in 1507. They gave it the name "Swan Island", as at that time they called already extinct birds that look like swans. The ships of the East India Company arrived here a hundred years later.
The Dutch named the island of Mauritius in honor of Governor Moritz von Nassau. After intensive exploitation of the huge ebony forests, in 1970 the Dutch left.
Five years later, the island came under the possession of the French, who intended to open a base here to fight pirates in the Indian Ocean. For the French, Mauritius became the "Isle of France" ("Île de France"). Under their command, thousands of slaves grew sugar cane. Slavery was finally abolished only during the British period - 1935. The island gained independence within the British Commonwealth in 1968.
The island of Mauritius became famous thanks to a postage stamp that every philatelist in the world dreams of. The "Blue Mauritius" stamp was issued in the former British colony in 1847. Until today, only 12 copies have been preserved, valued by collectors as the most valuable stamps in The world. Their fame is due to an engraver's mistake. While engraving the plaques, the inscription from the post office building is in front of Josef Barnard's eyes. Therefore, instead of the words "Post paid" (Post paid), used in the delivery of correspondence, the words "Post Office" are written. Today, the islanders are grateful to the absent-minded engraver. Thanks to him, stamps with the face of the British Queen Victoria make the island famous.
The beauty of this small island off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean has been described by famous writers such as Charles Baudelaire and Mark Twain. The latter says that God has created a second Paradise in Mauritius.