Port Lous, the capital of the island of Mauritius, on its N. W. coast, at the head of a triangular bay about 10 sq. m. in area; pop. about 40,000. It is well protected to seaward by forts which command the narrow channel opening into the bay, and by a strong citadel which commands all approaches. The town is open to the ocean on one side, and on the other sides enclosed by picturesque mountains. It is very regularly built, the streets crossing each other at right angles; but it is badly paved and drained. The Champ de Mars is a beautiful semicircular plain, used as a parade ground for the garrison and a race course. There are few fine buildings, and but slight attempts at ornamentation of the town. The government house, barracks, and many other large buildings, begun or erected by the French, are still in fair preservation, but are inconvenient and unattractive. A conspicuous structure is the large railway station, the terminus of the Northern and Midland railways, which have been constructed within the past 12 years to connect Port Louis with Grand river, 30 m., and Mahe-bourg, 35 m. distant. A dry dock was opened in 1859, capable of taking in a vessel 365 ft. long; it is 80 ft. wide at the top and 40 at bottom, and has 23 ft. of water on the sill at high tide.
Two lighthouses have been completed, the main light on Flat island, with a subsidiary one on Cannonier point. Mail steamers arrive monthly. There are convents, churches, and schools, a theatre, and a considerable number of large commercial houses. Of late years the prosperity of Port Louis has declined, fevers having become so prevalent that many have deserted it for other towns.