Victoria, Seychelles Tourist Attractions
Founded in 1778 and capital of Seychelles since 1903, it was named Port Victoria in honour of the British queen after her coronation. With a population 24,300, it is the only seaport in the country.Most of the town is built on land reclaimed from the sea, and most of the buildings are modern.
State House (Court House, Post Office)
These public buildings are among the only buildings in the capital preserved from older times. The State House, on State House Avenue, was built in 1910 and features manicured grounds and the grave of 18th C governor Le Chevalier Jean Bapticte Queau de Quinssy, named 'the great capitulator' for his habit of surrendering the colony to passing British ships. Visitors may be admitted with the permission of the staff. A statue of Pierre Poivre (who introduced spices to the Seychelles in the 18th C) stands outside the courthouse opposite the post office.
Established almost a century ago, the Gardens cover 6ha/15ac and supports a variety of native and introduced plants and trees, including elephant apple trees from Malaysia, Rose of Venezuela, pandamus, palmiste palms and coco de mer palms from Praslin. The sightseer can walk along paths leading among the vegetation and observe flying foxes, a pen of giant tortoises and an orchid garden.
Natural History Museum
Contains examples of living and extinct flora and fauna of Seychelles, including crocodile, giant crab and other stuffed and mounted birds and animals. Historical artefacts include pieces of a 16th C shipwreck and the original "stone of possession" by which the French claimed their rights to the islands in 1756. Across the street is a local art gallery.
Most of the remaining colonial buildings can be found in this area. The most prominent historical structure is the clock tower. Erected in 1903 as a national landmark to show the economic progress of the island, it was modelled on Little Ben, a small version of Big Ben in London.
Rond-Point de l'Indépendance
At the centre of the city, it is the roundabout intersection of the two main roads, 5th June Avenue and Independence Avenue. A statue of three pairs of birds' wings symbolizes the origins of the population in Europe, Africa and Asia. Nearby is a bronze statue of a figure breaking its chain that commemorates Independence Day.
SPUP Museum (Seychelles People's United Party Museum)
The Seychelles People's United Party headquarters and museum features an exhibition of photography and artifacts that covers the history of the party. Exhibits include guns and riot shields used to put down early demonstrations and suitcases used in the 1977 coup to overthrow President Mancham.
Markets & Shopping
Sir Selwyn Clark Market sells fish, fresh fruits and vegetables. The many craft shops prove Victoria is the center of the Seychelles craft industry, which produces many items from ship models to pearl jewellery.
St Paul's Cathedral
The cathedral is built on the site of the first church of Seychelles, which was destroyed by cyclone in 1862. It is an example of a simple Colonial cathedral with a single nave.
National Cultural Centre
This museum has a collection of displays illustrating the history, arts and crafts of the peoples of Seychelles.