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The Cosmo Side of Mauritius

By Linda Tancs

Port Louis is the cosmopolitan capital of the island of Mauritius. Founded in 1735 by the French governor and pioneer Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais, it offers a plethora of cultural and historical treasures. For one thing, it boasts the oldest racecourse in the Southern Hemisphere, Champ de Mars, where lively horse racing ensues on weekends from March to December. The theater is another pearl, one of the oldest in the region, fashioned after a typical London theater. Did you know that the extinct dodo was endemic to the island? Just as priceless is the Twopenny Blue stamp; an original issue is at the Blue Penny Museum. Originally printed in 1847, the stamps were issued by the then-British colony of Mauritius, the first empire stamps produced outside Britain. The remaining specimens belong to the Crown, some postal museums and some very lucky collectors.

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