Map of the Port of Mauritius
This late-18th century Spanish manuscript map depicts Port Louis and vicinity on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. The map is oriented with southeast at the top. It shows the coastline, coastal features, soundings, anchorages, fortifications, a battery, windmill, hospital, storehouse, and the port. It also includes a keyed legend. The map is part of the Library of Congress’s collection from the Real Escuela de Navegación, Cadiz, Spain, purchased from Maggs Brothers, London. Arab and Malay sailors knew of Mauritius as early as the 10th century. The first Europeans to visit the island were the Portuguese in the 16th century. They were followed by the Dutch, who colonized the island in 1638 and named it in honor of Prince Maurice of Nassau. The Dutch abandoned the island in 1710, and it was occupied by the French in 1715, who renamed it Île de France. At the time this map was made, the island was an important French naval base with a plantation economy based on sugar. The British captured the island in 1810, during the Napoleonic Wars, and retained possession under the 1814 Treaty of Paris. They restored the original name given to it by the Dutch. Mauritius attained its independence from Britain in 1968.
Title in Original Language
Plano del Puerto de Mauricio
Type of Item
1 pen-and-ink and watercolor manuscript map, 49 x 71 centimeters
- Scale approximately 1:7,100
Last updated: September 29, 2014