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Port Louis, Mauritius

Port Louis is the capital city of Mauritius. Located in the western Indian Ocean, it is also the main port of the island.

Mauritius remained largely uninhabited until the arrival of the Portugese at the end of the 16th century. Ultimately the Dutch landed at Mauritius in 1598, and were followed by the French in 1721. The French founded Port Louis in 1736 as a calling place for ships going around the south of Africa. Its importance decreased with the building of the Suez Canal. However, traffic increased again when the Canal was closed during 1967-75. Today, around 130,000 people live in the city.

The city is bustling during the day, as it is the collecting and clearing point for imports and exports (sugar) from Mauritius. It is also connected by roads with the rest of the island. Important buildings and institutions on the island include the University of Mauritius, Citadel - an old fortress, Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals, a natural history museum, art gallery and other educational and research institutes.

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