Postal Museum

Updated on the 10th of September 2014

The postal museum is found near the Port-Louis waterfront, not very far from the children’s playground I talked about a while back.

The building is a beautiful rock building from the 19th century, built in 1868 and classified as historic monument in 1958.

 

Postal museum
The postal Museum of Mauritius

 

The postal museum opened in 1995 and is a testimony to the major events that marked the history of the postal services in Mauritius from its origin in 1772.

The major milestones of the postal services are recorded as well as some funny anecdotes about the way communications happened in the past.

 

The Mauritius Postal Museum
Sam the postman awaits for you to enter the museum.

 

The museum is separated into 4 rooms with different displays. There is also a philatelic gallery and a temporary exhibition area. The exhibition area was empty at the time of our visit, but I think they hold those about twice a month.

I believe they also have a shop, but as we haven’t stopped there, I’m not 100% certain and I’m not sure what they sell either…

The first room is mostly posters and information about the origins of our postal services.

 

The postal museum of Mauritius
Information and displays at the Postal Museum.

 

Mauritius was in fact the fifth country in the world, after Great Britain, Brazil, Switzerland and North America, to introduce stamps; thus making us the 2nd country of the southern hemisphere and the 1st English colony in September 1847.

They were the famous blue and red penny stamps with the face of Queen Victoria, amongst the rarest in the world. 2 of them can be found at the Blue Penny museum of the Caudan Waterfront.

 

The Blue penny and the Red penny
The Blue and Red Penny

 

The rarity of these stamps coming from the fact that it was wrongly printed with the lettering ‘post office’ when in fact it should have been ‘post paid’.

These more widespread stamps were also on display on boards in the same area.

 

Stamps displayed at the Mauritius Postal Museum
Stamps widely used in the 1980s

 

I believe I still have some of those in my drawers at home. They were used regularly some twenty years ago. And yes, one twenty cent stamp was enough at the time to send an envelope anywhere in Mauritius.

The second room recollects the way letters were delivered using trains. The display is a little more visual and you can see the uniforms as well as the equipment that was used at the time.

 

Mauritius postal museum
Uniforms and equipment of the postal services

 

A big map shows the railway tracks on the island accompanied by the background sound of a running train.

 

Mauritius Postal museum
Railway stations and the different post offices

 

Room number three also contains quite a lot of equipment: old letter boxes, automatic stamp machines, old scales, etc.

 

Mauritius postal museum
Automatic stamp machines

 

Mauritius Postal museum
Telegraph stations

 

Here, a display of prepaid envelopes introduced in 1861.

 

The Mauritius Postal museum
Prepaid envelopes

 

Upstairs in the final display room, there is some more information and anecdotes about contemporary postal services, as well as a little visual of a postman and his bicycle. This uniform looks similar to the one worn today by postmen around the island.

 

The Mauritius Postal museum
The last display room at the Postal Museum

 

The visit is not very long. Depending on how much you want to read each information and take time watching all the different equipments it will probably take about half an hour to forty five minutes to visit it all.

It might not be the greatest museum to visit with very young children as there is not much interaction and quite a lot to read if you want to understand the different historical events.

As from the age of 8 or 9, they might enjoy it a little better as there are captions from Sam the postman that are illustrated and easy enough to read summarizing the major information.

 

The Mauritius postal museum
Sam the postman talks to the younger ones.

 

I remember going into this building about fifteen years ago when I was working in Port-Louis. The place was full of busy counters with people everywhere getting stamps, receiving packages or paying their bills. Today, only a little corner is dedicated to postage and postal activities. This goes to show how the internet and online communications have changed the way we communicate today.

 

 

Practical information:

Address: Place du Quai, Port-Louis

Tel: 2113266, 2134812

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday: 9am to 4:30pm
Saturday & public holidays: 10am to 4pm

Website: http://www.mauritiuspost.mu/postal-museum

Residents Prices (at time of page update):
Children from 0 to 10 years old: free
Children from 11 to 17 years old: Rs 25
Adults up to 60 years old: Rs 50
Senior citizens: free
Family fare – 2 adults & 2 children: Rs 135
Group fare – 10 to 14 adults: Rs 45 per person
Group fare – more than 15 adults: Rs 40 per person

Non-Residents Prices (at time of page update):
Children from 0 to 7 years old: free
Children from 8 to 17 years old: Rs 90
Adults up to 60 years old: Rs 150
Senior citizens: Rs 90
Family fare – 2 adults & 2 children: Rs 440
Group fare – 10 to 14 adults: Rs 135 per person
Group fare – more than 15 adults: Rs 120 per person

 

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