The capital of the Republic of Seychelles and its only city, Victoria is the commercial, economic, cultural and political hub of the country. Guarded by the mountains and the topaz sea, this city boasts of quite a few intriguing sights and can be a more than satisfying worth a day’s walk. The city has two main cenres: one around the clock tower and the other around the Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market. These are the few places you wouldn’t like to miss when you are in Victoria.
Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar temple: A photographer’s delight and one of the most admired sites in Victoria, this temple is the abode of the Hindu God Vinaygar and a place of worship for 5000 Hindus living in Victoria.
Bel Air Cemetery: As the legend goes this cemetery has the grave of the mythical person Giant of Bel Air. He was 10 ft tall at the age of 16 and could carry large fishing boats all by himself and lift a bag of rice with one finger. This is the oldest cemetery and the citizens from the first days of Victoria were laid to rest in this place. Located on Bel Air Road, this cemetery is a Seychelles National monument.
Bicentennial Monument: Created by the Italian artist Lorenzo Appiani, this monument commemorates the 200th anniversary of Victoria. It has three pairs of extended white wings that symbolise the origin of the Seychelles population and represents the three continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. It is located in the Freedom square, at the eastern end of Independence Avenue.
Cable and Wireless: The administrative centre of the Cable and Wireless Company, this wooden house marks the place where the country’s first telephone connections were made connecting it to Mauritus, Zanzibar and Aden.
Kenwyn House: Next to the Cable and wireless is this building displaying the French Colonial architecture. It has a souvenir shop of South African Jewellery and the art gallery displays Seychellois paintings.
Clock Tower: If you have heard the song “Going back to the Seychelles, where the clock chimes twice” it is here that it is inspired from. This clock tower built in 1903 as a replica of the Vauxhall Bridge clock tower in London. This clock actually chimes twice in an hour instead of once. It is situated at the juncture of the Independence Avenue and Albert Street and is one of the main centres of the Victoria city.
Cathedral of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception: Designed by the Seyhellois architect Gilbert Frichot and sculptor Egbert Marday, this is the largest Catholic church in Seychelles. Around 700 worshipers can pray together in this beautiful church. Brilliant colours glisten through the bright colourful stained glass windows. This church is surrounded by a beautiful garden and one of the most impressive buildings in Seychelles, La Domus. This is a two storey priest house built of granite in 1934.
National Museum of History: This Museum is a part of the National Cultural Centre and archives prehistoric maps, old firearms and governments records that date back to 1770,
National Botanical gardens: Founded by botanist Paul Dupont in 1901, this is a must visit and should definitely be a part of your trip. A brochure is handed over to you at the entrance of this garden which will give you a brief overview of the varied flora species in Seychelles. It has the famous Coco-de-mer trees apart from a comprehensive orchid garden with 150 species of orchids and a total of 500 plants with 40 species of palm trees. The tour ends with an enclosure of the giant Aldabra tortoises.
Seychelles Natural History Museum: The ‘Pierre de Possession’ or the stone of seizure installed in 1756 as a symbol of the possession of Seychelles by the French Royal family is the most important exhibit here. There is also a 180 million year old granite stone which is a proof of the theory that these islands used to be a part of the Gondwana supercontinent.
St. Paul’s Cathedral;-This is the oldest and the largest Anglican Church in Seychelles consecrated in 1859.
Sir Selweyn Selweyn Clarke Market: From Souvenir shops to craft booths to fruits, vegetables, aromatic spices and works of artisans this market was built by a Frenchman by the same name for local farmers and fishermen. Nowadays it is mainly run by merchants but the market has its own charm. You can browse through the shops and enjoy a delightful breakfast at the café while looking down at the market and its colourful hustle bustle.