Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Tourist Attractions: Mission Lodge

Upgrading and Adding More Cultural Value to Mission Lodge 


In an attempt to improve the visitors’ experience whilst conserving the authenticity of Mission Lodge - one of Seychelles’ most valuable heritage sites - four local leading construction companies  have pledged their support to help bring back this site to its original splendour.



 


The Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St Ange and the chief executive officer (CEO) of 
the Seychelles Heritage Foundation (SHF), Patrick Nanty laid the foundation stone for the re-development of Mission Lodge. This marked the beginning of a project that will see the creation of a reception area and a visitor’s information centre with a gallery, as well as a cafeteria, larger parking space and toilet facilities.

Mission Lodge is included on Mason's Travel's Mahé Discovery Tour.  To find out more about this excursion, or to make a booking, CLICK HERE.


 
The View-Point at Mission Lodge
Mr Nanty mentioned that the re-development project of Mission Lodge is aimed at making the site more visitor friendly and safe. In fact, the central pathway will be upgraded for comfort of visitors including the re-installation of a stone surface and the installation of soft lighting for any late evening activities. There will also be the restoration, cordoning and reconstruction on certain parts of the ruins to conserve the site and its history.

 


Furthermore, Mr Nanty revealed that much improved signage that blends well with the environment will be placed principally in the proximity of the ruins to provide visitors with an enriching insight. According to Mr Nanty, he believes that providing visitors with proper information will in turn help them be more knowledgeable and responsible of the site’s surroundings during their visits.

The Tourism Minister is hopeful that the re-development project of Mission Lodge and its new facilities will certainly bring added value to the site and attract more visitors as well as boost the site’s application to become an UNESCO World Heritage Site.



About Mission Lodge (Venn’s Town)

An artwork depicting Venn Town
 
The Mission Lodge was originally known as Venn's Town (named after an Aglican Missionary, Henry Venn) and was set up in the late 19th century by a Missionary Society. Following the abolition of slavery, around 2,500 African slaves were set free on Mahé by 1870. Few years later, the colonial government at that time had accepted the proposal made by the Missionary Society to set up a school for the liberated African slave’s children which officially opened in 1876. 



Today, the ruins of this former school are still clearly visible thus making Mission Lodge one of the most visited tourist attractions in Seychelles. From the shaded and peaceful confines of a gazebo where Queen Elizabeth II once sat for tea, visitors can enjoy some truly spectacular views of Mahé’s green forest landscapes, mountains and azure coastline. 

 

You can read an updated article on the project's progress to be found here.



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