Updated on the 28th of November 2013
You will find the Photography museum at the very end of ‘La rue du vieux Conseil’ in Port-Louis, a charming pedestrian road made of rocks opposite the Theater. The entrance is the first door on the left as you go through the archway. There wasn’t any signs on or near the door at the time of our visit and we nearly missed it… From outside, it doesn’t really look like you’re going to enter a museum, but don’t be mistaken because as soon as you set foot inside, you are immersed in a world of photography.
The museum is quite small but it is a museum full of heart. It was born of the passion of its owner for Photography, Mr Tristan Bréville, and this passion can be felt throughout the exhibitions.
There is no guided visit per se, however, Mrs Marie Noelle Bréville is usually at your disposal to talk about the different equipments and photos exposed.
When you come in, the first thing you see are very interesting old cameras and movie projecting equipment.
You can even look in the cameras to see… 3D photographs! One would think that 3D is something from our modern world. Well, think again! The first camera I looked into showed a photograph taken of ‘La rue du Gouvernement’ in 3D taken ages ago! It was quite amazing!
As you stroll along, you will also see various type of machinery used for different things. One of them took photos in order to make out maps with a scale, others were used in the printing industry.
There are old signs announcing the very first movie projection. They carry you straight into another world where movies were shipped to the island and were showed for one or two representations only.
Mrs Bréville also gave us lots of information about the very first newspaper to see the day here in Mauritius and the methods used to print it out.
Three little rooms in the center of the museum display various cameras, from very old ones to more modern one, a wide collection of books on photography and some of the very first ‘daguerreotypes’ (the forerunner of photography) on metal or on ceramic.
The first ‘daguerreotype’ has been acquired and brought back to Mauritius by Ferdinand Worhnitz in December 1839, not long after the technique had been discovered. Unfortunately, it was not recovered, but you can still see its lens.
Of course you can also see some of the photos Mr Bréville has taken throughout the years on the walls of the museum as you walk around.
I really appreciated this walk through the history of photography and the hard work and warmth of its owners. If you have even the slightest interest in photography and its history, I think you will appreciate it too!
Address: Rue du Vieux Conseil, Port Louis
Tel: 211 1705
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9am to 3pm
Prices (at time of page update): adults – Rs 150, students – Rs 100, children under 12 – free