The island of Mauritius was believed to have been discovered by Arab sailors around the 9th century. Mauritius was created by a series of volcanic eruptions under the sea millions of years ago. The island which was in the control of the Dutch passed through the hands of the French and the British before it gained independence in 1968. After independence, Mauritius earned a name for itself as a hot tourist destination. It is an excellent place for tourist activities and every year an estimated 800,000 people visit the island every year. Mauritius earns a considerable amount of foreign exchange through tourism. Although English is the official language of Mauritius, the French language dominates the media and commerce. The native language is Mauritian Creole which is close to French but slightly different. There are several interesting sites in Mauritius, which hold a lot of historical significance, such as the Balaclava ruins. The old Balaclava ruins of the estate are remnants of Mauritius’ interesting history.
The historic sites of Mauritius include the ruins of European settlements and other monuments of that period. The Balaclava ruins and the Dutch ruins at Vieux Grand Port are located several meters ahead of Baie aux Tortues. The 17th century French sailors named the Balaclava ruins after the huge tortoise population found in this place. The Balaclava ruins offer an insight into the medieval history of the island. The French Arsenal was built at Baie de l’ Arsenal to hold ammunition needed to protect the colony. An explosion destroyed the arsenal in 1774 and the ruins and remains of the shattered arsenal lie in the grounds of the exclusive Maritim Hotel. Balaclava takes its name from the famous Crimean War which took place in Europe. Remains of ancient forts and earlier settlements can be found here. Tourists can also see the sea walls, the first foundation of which was laid by Labourdonnais. There is a crater in Trou aux Certs which is the main attraction for tourists. The crater whose floor is heavily wooded has become extinct ages ago. The crater permits you excellent views of the whole island. There are a number of beaches around the area. There is a radar station here which monitors cyclone activity in the area.
Another school of thought suggests that Balaclava is named after the region’s black lava rocks and not after the Crimean battlefield. It is a very attractive wild area which overlooks the secluded Baie de l’ Arsenal. The Balaclava ruins of the French arsenal can still be seen along with a flourmill and a lime kiln nearby. The ruins of Balaclava are located within the grounds of the Maritim Hotel. The beautiful architecture of the past eras enhances the beauty and glory of Mauritius. Non-residents desirous of seeing the ruins can seek permission to visit the ruins from the security guard at the hotel entrance. The track to the ruins begins 30 metres inside to the right of the gate. There are no bus services to Balaclava or Baie de l’Arsenal. The best thing for you would be to take a taxi from Port Louis which may cost you less than US$ 8.
History buffs and people who would like to know about the history of Mauritius must definitely pay a visit to the Balaclava ruins to have a look at the ruins of yesteryears.