Website Category: European Colonial Influences
Criteria: (ii) interchange of values (iv) icon of an era
Location and Values: The island of Saint-Louis is located in the mouth of the Senegal River, a little north of the continent’s westernmost point. Approximately 2.5 km long and 300 m wide, the island was developed as a French colonial town in the 17th century, and became the capital of French West Africa from 1895 to 1902. The outstanding features of the town include the original town plan (on a regular grid system), the quaysides and the French colonial architecture.
Slideshow of the Island Of Saint-Louis: The slideshow gives a ‘sense of place’ as the town was in the late 1990s – a somewhat faded façade of (often crumbling) 18th and 19th century buildings, with shuttered windows and balconies overlooking the street. The quaysides are the most attractive elements, looking out over the water and lined with the classic multi-coloured sea-going canoes used by local fisherman. The faded glory of the colonial era is very much in evidence, replaced by the free-spirited informality of the town’s present status, with sheep and goats roaming the streets, alongside donkey carts and street vendors. The island was connected to the mainland in 1897 by the Pont Faidherbe, an impressive structure designed by Gustav Eiffel and originally intended for the Danube. Some of the pictures are taken on the lively Atlantic Ocean beach which is separated from the Island by a narrow sand spit.
Slideshow of the Island Of Saint-Louis:
Google Earth View: To view satellite imagery of Saint Louis on Google Earth, click here. This opens a new window, so when you are finished, just close the Google Earth page and you will be straight back here to continue browsing other world heritage sites around Africa.