The ruins of Fort Frederik Hendrik, now the Fort Frederik Hendrik Museum, in a tranquil garden on the water’s edge are the only tangible remains of Dutch occupation. Built in 1638, the austere square fortification, with bastions, a bakery, prison and store now underneath a layer of French defences, was named in honour of the Prince Maurice of Nassau’s brother. The small museum tells the story of the Dutch on the island, with interesting panels on Mauritius’s first inhabitants and domestic artefacts excavated here. Visitors can also learn about the interesting first registered birth on the island: Simon Van der Stel, son of the second governor, and Maria Lievens, whose mother was a freed Indian slave, went on to become the first governor of Cape Colony, present-day South Africa. Close by is an old watch tower, the Tour des Hollandais (Tower of the Dutch), seen behind a fence.

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