Victoria Profile

Victoria is the present day capital of the Seychelles, an archipelago of islands in the Indian Ocean to the north-east of Madagascar. They were long known to Arab traders before coming to the attention of Europeans en route to India and first landed on in 1609 when members of the British East India company spent time on Mahé island, Victoria's location.

Victoria: Mahé IslandAfter earlier expeditions, the Seychelles were claimed by France in 1756 and settled by them in the 1770s naming them after Viscount Jean Moreau de Seychelles, Louis XV's Minister of Finance however came under British control during the Napoleonic Wars following the defeat of French Mauritius from where they were administered and formally ceded to the British under the treaty of Paris 1814 and later, in 1841, the town was renamed Victoria, after Queen Victoria.

In the early nineteenth century most of the population of Victoria worked on white owned farmers producing maize, rice, cotton and sugar cane however, after the abolition of slavery there in 1834, many settlers left with their slaves with 'replacement' incomers arriving from India, China and Malaysia who set themselves up as shop keepers and traders to supplement the growing number of other settlers, many of them former slaves freed from slave ships by the British Navy operating in the Indian Ocean.

Victoria Clock TowerThe British had little interest in the Seychelles during this period seeing it as a burden. The plantations were in decline due to over farming, former slaves held no land and squatted where they could and there was little income from exports to develop the island's infrastructure to meet its growing population. During this period the Seychelles were largely dependent on imports to survive and there was a growing resentment at colonial rule from Mauritius to some extent spurred by Mauritius's poor response to the avalanche of 1862 which killed 70 in Victoria alone and damaged much of the town. In 1897 administrative rule was transferred to Victoria with the island being granted separate Crown Colony status from Mauritius in 1903.

Following independence from the UK in 1976 Victoria remained the archipelago's capital and today is Africa's smallest capital with a population of some 25,000 with a busy port in the east of the 'city' where the tuna fishing and canning industries employ much of its population in addition to exports of vanilla, coconuts and coconut oil, tortoise shells, soaps and fertiliser. Attractions for tourists include its clock tower (above), botanical gardens and national museum as well as island tourism.


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Location of Victoria, Seychelles: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Victoria Profile

Victoria Profile

Victoria Profile

Victoria Profile

 


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Victoria Profile

Victoria Profile

Facts, information and video about Victoria the capital of the Seychelles, an archipelago of islands in the Indian Ocean, together with history and map.

 
 


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