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Blick auf den Hafen von Victoria, Bild: GagliardiPhotography / shutterstock

Victoria – the picturesque capital of the Seychelles

On the northeast coast of the rocky Seychelles island of Mahé lies the capital of the island state, which is well worth seeing. Founded in 1778 by French settlers, the city with just 25,000 inhabitants has retained its special charm to this day. After the Anglo-French War in 1814, the British gained control of the Seychelles and in honor of the queen, the city was named Victoria.

To this day, the most diverse influences are omnipresent in Victoria. This makes the city a real gem, because neon signs and the like are not to be found in the capital. There are just two traffic lights in the picturesque city, which inspires its visitors with its numerous sights and unique flair.

Victoria’s classic attractions

Hindu Temple Victoria Arulmihu Navasakti Vinayagar
Arulmihu Navasakti Vinayagar Hindu Temple in Victoria, Image: Reiner Conrad / shutterstock

Victoria is mainly characterized by buildings and residential buildings from the early 20th century. Colourful facades, varied architecture and palm-lined streets create a special picturesque overall picture. One of the classic sights is the “Cathedrale of Our Lady of Immaculate”, which was built in 1892 and can be found on a small hill on the outskirts of the city. The sacred building, which is well worth seeing, is surrounded by a well-kept garden. Right next to the cathedral is the two-storey priest’s residence from 1934.

No less worth seeing is the Clock Tower, which is located in the middle of an intersection. This was erected in 1903 by the English governor in honour of the Queen and strikes twice on the hour. But not only the Clock Tower is a reminder of the rule of the British, but also the State House. The former governor’s residence is surrounded by a lush garden and is now used as a presidential residential and office building.

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An absolute highlight is the National Botanical Garden. This was founded in 1901 and covers 10,000 m². With over 500 plant species, including 150 species of orchids, the green jewel inspires its visitors. Special highlights such as the natural cloud forest and a large enclosure with Aldabra giant tortoises provide unforgettable impressions.

If you want to learn more about the history and development of the city, you should definitely head for the National Cultural Centre.

Victoria’s unusual sights

Little-big-ben-seychelles, Mahe
The Little Big Ben in Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles. Image: dvoevnore

Victoria not only shines with classic sights, but there are also some extraordinary sights to be found in the dreamlike city. Particularly impressive and symbolic is the Bicentennial Monument, which was erected in 1978 for the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Monument. Birthday of the city. Designed by the Italian artist Lorenzo Appiani, the monument consists of three wings, which stands for the different roots of the inhabitants of the Seychelles. The wings stand for the continents of Asia, Africa, Europe and the resulting multicultural mix that characterizes Victoria.

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The Bel Air Cemetery also takes its visitors back in time and bears witness to the fact that people from all over the world were drawn to Victoria. The historic cemetery with its dilapidated gravestones and memorial plaques is one of the oldest surviving places of worship in the Seychelles and still commemorates the first citizens of the city.

Many visitors to the city are surprised by the small Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar temple complex. The magnificently designed temple was built in 1992 and is an absolute eye-catcher and testifies to the fact that around 5,000 Hindus live in Victoria. But not only the temple complex surprises, but also the small mosque with its gilded dome, which serves as a meeting place for the Muslim community of Victoria.

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Shopping in Victoria

Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market, Victoria
Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market, Image: Luca Pape / shutterstock

The historic “Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market” is a fantastic location. In 1840, estates were established by the French governor. Since then, farmers and fishermen have offered their goods for sale on the market square. To this day, visitors to the market can buy fresh fruit, vegetables and fish from the colourful stalls. But spices, clothing, leather goods, baskets, carvings and handicrafts are also offered for sale at the stalls. After shopping, a small café invites you to linger directly on the market square.

Victoria culinary

Bicentennial Monument Victoria
Bicentennial Monument , Image: bumihills / shutterstock

Of course, the multicultural city is also international in the field of cuisine. It is recommended to discover Creole cuisine for yourself. But restaurants with Asian, French and international cuisine can also be found in Victoria. If you don’t necessarily want to eat in a restaurant, you can try the wide range of street food. Not only is street food much cheaper than going to a restaurant, but delicious specialties are freshly prepared at the stalls in the streets of the city, so that even gourmets are enthusiastic about the fast cuisine. Also recommended are the street stalls, which offer fresh and tasty fruit as a snack. But you can also enjoy a delicious cocktail in the quiet city, because in the harbour area there are some beautiful restaurants where you can end the evening in a pleasant way.