St. Denis, Reunion | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
0
No votes yet

St. Denis, Reunion

Saint-Denis (créole: Sin-Dni) is the capital of Réunion Island and the city with the most inhabitants on the island. It hosts all the important administrative offices and is also a cultural center with numerous museums. Saint-Denis is also the largest city in all of the French Overseas Departments.

Saint-Denis is the prefecture (administrative seat) of the French island of Réunion. The island lies between Mauritius and Madagascar and has the status of a French Overseas Department and is officially an administrative division of France. The General Council and Regional Council, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Chamber of Trades and Craft Industry, the rectorate, the state university, the employment office, and the customs authority are all located in the commune of Saint-Denis.
Saint-Denis was named in 1669 by Étienne Régnault, who later became governor of Réunion... Read more

St. Denis, Reunion

Destination:
Saint-Denis (créole: Sin-Dni) is the capital of Réunion Island and the city with the most inhabitants on the island. It hosts all the important administrative offices and is also a cultural center with numerous museums. Saint-Denis is also the largest city in all of the French Overseas Departments.

Saint-Denis is the prefecture (administrative seat) of the French island of Réunion. The island lies between Mauritius and Madagascar and has the status of a French Overseas Department and is officially an administrative division of France. The General Council and Regional Council, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Chamber of Trades and Craft Industry, the rectorate, the state university, the employment office, and the customs authority are all located in the commune of Saint-Denis.
Saint-Denis was named in 1669 by Étienne Régnault, who later became governor of Réunion from 1665 to 1671. The settlement was named after the ship "Saint-Denis", which in 1664, as part of a fleet sailing under the flag of the French India Company, was sent to Réunion Island and then on to India. The aforementioned Governor Régnault arrived with the fleet from France and established a resupply outpost on the coast at Saint-Paul, the first capital of the island.
The small 60-ton ship "Saint-Denis", previously separated from the fleet at Tenerife in the Canary Islands, still managed to find its own way to the island, arriving in 1667. The captain of the ship, named Chanlette, was a good friend of Régnault, so the bay, the harbor, and later the city, were all subsequently named "Saint-Denis" in honor of the return of the lost ship. The ship was, in turn, named after Saint-Denis, a third-century bishop and missionary to Gaul, who was martyred with his companions Rusticus and Elentère in what would become modern-day France.
Under Mahé de Labourdonnais, then Governor of the East India Company and an important figure in the history of the island, the town of Saint-Denis replaced the former capital of Saint-Paul due to the general quality and favorable location of its harbor. Though the small settlement had just 2166 inhabitants, it had become the capital of the island and seat of the colonial government of the whole of the Mascarene islands.
In the year 1743, the first church and the new governor's palace (the modern Prefecture) were built. In 1771, a formal plan for the city was instituted. This followed the typical colonial grid pattern, with 12 streets in the east-west direction and 7 running north-south.
The administrative headquarters and warehouse of the French East India Company were established in 1773. It was built in the typical French colonial vernacular style and was later the official residence of the Governor and Prefect. In 1790, Saint-Denis was formally incorporated as a commune, and Jean Baptiste Delestrac became its first mayor.
Saint-Denis still remained only a small town, trailing behind Saint-Paul in population and Saint-Pierre in economic power. At the turn of the 19th century, the city was little more than a boring bureaucratic backwater, where the most exciting activity was still taking a walk. By mid-century, however, sugar barons had begun pouring money into the local economy, and Saint-Denis blossomed into an important cultural and commercial center. In 1852, both the colonial bank and the natural history museum were founded in the city.
By the 20th century, political and economic life on the island had become directly tied to the fortunes of the capital: Two world wars, malaria epidemics, and increasing cultivation of the sugar beet in Europe all lead to an economic recession in the city and on the island in general, from which it has only recently emerged, thanks to the establishment of subsidies from Paris and the European Union.
The primary ethnic groups of the city are European immigrants, former slaves, Chinese and Muslim Indian immigrants and their descendants, and créoles. The demographics are highly mixed, and ghettos of any particular ethnicity do not exist.

Source:
Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

St. Denis, Reunion: Port Information


The port is located 8 miles away from St. Denis.
Free shuttle bus will take you outside of the port gates. After that, you can take a taxi or a local bus.

Get around St. Denis, Reunion


The city center is very compact and can be toured easily on foot. The central zone extends from Barachois near the coast, along the Avenue de La Victoire and its extension, Rue de Paris, until the

Jardin de L'Etat

. The pedestrian zone (Carré Piéton) is in the area around Rue Marchel Leclérc.
During business hours, traffic in central Saint-Denis can be chaotic, and parking places may be scarce, whereas on Sundays, the city may seem nearly deserted, with many businesses closed and shuttered.

What to see in St. Denis, Reunion


The important sights all lie along the axis of Avenue de La Victoire and Rue de Paris and are very compact to one another, so it is recommended to go on foot. In the city center, brand new buildings are often interspersed with decaying ones. Alongside the many properly well-appointed and the most representative buildings of the colonial style, there those with little more to interest the tourist than their "historical patina", often immediately next door.
Churches, mosques, and temples
  • Cathedral of Saint-Denis Saint-Sauveur, On Rue de la Victoire, at the corner of Rue Alexis de Villeneuve. Catholic. Built between 1829 and 1832 as designed by Jean-Baptiste Dumas. Became the cathedral in 1850. Expanded between 1856 and 1860. 
  • Chapelle de l'Immaculée Conception (Chapel of the Immaculate Conception), 10 Rue Sainte-Anne. Catholic. Consecrated February 6, 1869. 
  • Église Notre Dame de La Délivrance (Church of Our Lady of Deliverance), Place de La Deliverance (Slightly west of the city center and the Saint-Denis River.). Catholic. Built between 1893 and 1898 in neo-gothic style. 
  • Église Notre Dame de l'Assomption (Church of Our Lady of the Assumption), On the corner of Général de Gaulle and Rue Jean Chatel.
  • Grand Mosque Noor al Islam, Rue du Marechal Leclerc. Built in 1990. Open to both men and women, outside of prayer hours, from 9 am to 12 pm, and 2 pm to 4 pm. No shoes permitted. 
  • Pagoda Lisi Tong, Rue Sainte-Anne (somewhat east of the city center). Built in 1896.
  • Pagoda Guan Di, Near the corner of Rue du Marechal Leclerc and Rue Sainte-Anne (somewhat east of the city center).  
Significant buildings
  • L'ancien Hôtel de Ville (Old City Hall, Mayoral Residence), 2 Avenue de la Victoire. Built between 1846 and 1860 (with interruptions due to lack of funds).
  • Hôtel de la Préfecture (Governor's Palace), 4 Avenue de la Victoire. Originated as the warehouses of the French East India Company, and is the both one of the first large public buildings built on the island, and its oldest extant structure. 
  • University of Réunion, 9 Avenue de la Victoire.  
  • Banque de La Réunion (Bank of Réunion), 27 Rue Jean Chatel. The oldest operating enterprise on the island. The bank itself is a prestigious villa in the colonial vernacular style, completed in 1858. 
  • Palais Rontaunay, 5 Rue Rontaunay. This prestigious villa was built in the early 19th century in the créole vernacular style and was the residence of Julien Rontaunay Gaultier, which later became the location of the government and Consul General of the island. 
  • Villa du Général, 49 Rue du Paris. An excellent example of villa in the Creole vernacular style. 
  • Villa Mas, 18 Rue de Paris. A colonial style villa with an exemplary portico. built from 1973 to 1804 for Baptiste Lestrac, the first mayor of Saint-Denis. Now serves as the home of the Ministry of Culture. 
  • Villa Déramond-Barre, 15 Rue de Paris. Another outstanding example of the colonial vernacular style. This villa has been home to several important locals, such as painter and poet Leon Dierx. 
Monuments
  • Monument aux Morts (World War I Memorial), At the intersection of Avenue de la Victoire and Rue de la Compagnie.  
Museums
  • Léon Dierx Museum (Modern Art Museum), 28 rue de Paris, +262 (0)262 20 24 82. 9 AM-5:30 PM Tuesday-Sunday, Closed Monday. The museum was founded in 1911 and occupies the colonial-style Villa Manès, formerly the official bishop's residence. One can see works from local artists together with those of Picasso, Renoir, Gauguin, Vlaminck, Bourdelle, and Jean Le Gac. The museum's namesake, Léon Dierx, was a local painter and poet who died in the year 1912. Free on the first Sunday each month.
  • Artothèque (Museum of Contemporary Art), 26 Rue de Paris, +262 (0)262 41 75 00, fax: +262 (0)262 21 05 03. Exhibitions change bimonthly. 
  • Muséum Histoire Naturelle (Natural History Museum), 1 Rue Poivre (Located within the Jardin de L´Etat).  
  • Brewery Museum, 60 Quay Ouest (within La Maison de la Bière Dodo). 9:30 AM, 11 AM, 2 PM, 3:30 PM, Tuesday-Thursday. A museum to the islands omnipresent Bière Dodo (which is owned by Heineken), that opened in 2005. 1-hour guided tours by appointment only. 
Parks
  • La Barachois. This waterfront promenade with its distinctive cannons is located where Avenue de La Victoire meets the sea. The name can roughly be translated as "little harbor", and the cannon date from the early 19th century when the island was threatened with British invasion during the Napoleonic wars. Also at La Barachois are monuments to aviation pioneer and native Réunionnais Roland Garros (after whom the city's airport is also named), to prominent Governor of the French East India Company Mahé de la Bourdonnais, and to General Charles de Gaulle. 
  • Jardin de l'Etat

    (State Garden). Historic botanical garden built from 1767 to 1773 and containing roughly 5 hectares of open space, located at the southern terminus of the Rue de Paris. The Natural History Museum is also within the grounds of the park. 

What to do in St. Denis, Reunion


  • Casino Saint-Denis, Barachois Place Sarda Garriga, +262 (0)262 41 33 33, fax: +262 (0)262 41 11 94. Gaming casino, hotel, bar, and restaurant adjacent to La Barachois.
  • Cinéma Plaza, 79 rue Pasteur, +262 (0)262 21 04 36. Movie Theater. 
  • Cinéma Ritz, 53 rue Juliette Dodu, +262 (0)262 20 09 52. Movie Theater. 
  • Golf Club du Colorado, Parc de Loisirs du Colorado, La Montange, +0262 23 79 50. 9-hole golf course located in the La Montagne district. 
  • Guan Di Festival. A colorful festival held each August celebrating the birthday of the Chinese god of war. 
  • TCF (Théatre de Champ Fleuri), 2 rue du Théâtre, +262 (0)262 41 93 00, fax: +262 (0)262 41 55 71.  
  • Théâtre Le Grand Marché, 2 rue du Maréchal Leclerc (Near the Grand Marché), +262 (0)262 20 33 99, fax: +262 (0)262 20 01 66.  
  • Théâtre Vollard, 2 Avenue Andre Malraux, +262 (0)262 41 93 00, fax: +262 (0)262 41 55. Theater group that performs both on the island and internationally. Named after Reunionais publisher and art dealer Ambrosius Vollard. 

What to eat and drink in St. Denis, Reunion


Eat

For a quick bite, there are a number of snack shacks located at La Barschois, with a variety of flavors represented (including McDonald's).
  • La Récré, 21 Avenue de la Victoire. Créole cuisine, salads, fish and meat dishes from the grill mid-range. 
  • La Renaissance, 2 rue Doret (in Hotel le Saint Denis). Splurge. 

Drink

  • Club 138, 7 Rue Amiral Lacaze, +262 (0)262 21 07 45.  
  • Jazzy Bar, 20 Rue Labourdonnais, +262 (0)262 21 85 01.  
  • Le First, 8 Avenue de la Victoire, +262 (0)262 41 68 25.

Shopping in St. Denis, Reunion


The main shopping district of Saint-Denis is in the pedestrian zone around Rue Marechal Leclerc, with plenty of small shops, as well as the large public market. The wide range of goods exhibited in the shops reflects the diverse cultural heritage of the island.
  • PMU Barachois, 3 avenue de la Victoire, +262 (0)262 20 34 66. Newspapers and periodicals, with some international selection. 
  • Entrepot, 82-88 rue Juliette Dodu, +262 (0)262 20 94 94. The largest bookstore in the city. 
  • Le Mahal, 50 rue Maréchal Leclerc, +262 (0)262 41 63 98. Artisanal handcrafts and souvenirs. 
  • Arts et Lumière, 11 rue de Paris, +262 (0)262 53 46 22. Art gallery. 
Markets
  • Grand Marché (Big Market), 3 Rue Maréchal Leclerc. May-Oct, 6 AM-7 PM; Nov-Apr 7 AM-7 PM; closed Mondays. A covered open market hall. Goods available in this location include fruits and vegetables, spices, textiles and wood carvings from Madagascar, and other various souvenirs from the Indian Ocean region. 
  • Petit Marche (Little Market), corner of rue Maréchal Leclerc and rue Sainte-Anne. Weekday mornings. Primarily offering food and flowers. 
  • Marché des Camélias, Avenue des Cocotiers. Fridays from 6 am-12 pm. Artisanal crafts, vegetables, meat, and fish.
  • Marché du Chaudron, Place Nelson Mandela. An annual fair in the Chaudron District with over 400 stalls, featuring seafood, fish, meat, and vegetables. 

Safety in St. Denis, Reunion


Reunion is fairly safe. However, you must be careful of open displays of goods (carried or worn) attractive to thieves.
Most crime in Reunion is related to and within family or peer group and linked with violence and substance use. Other most reported crime: vandalism, corruption, bribery.

The major attraction of Reunion is the stunning scenery, with impressive walks on cliffs and, obviously, the volcano. Be aware that in some high altitude areas, especially near the volcano, mid-day fog may really hamper orientation making it easy to get lost; also, temperatures may drop significantly. In foggy weather, do not stray from well-marked paths! Carry layered clothing. Even on this tropical island, in high altitude locations, in humid weather, you can become ill from the effects of cold temperatures.

Reunion is having a big problem with shark attacks (bull and tiger sharks) resulting in a severely restricted access to nautical activities, including swimming outside of the lagoon and areas protected with nets. Previously popular areas for surfing are very dangerous and most of the time forbidden (you might get fined).

Language spoken in St. Denis, Reunion


French is the official language of Reunion.

Although not official, Réunion Creole is the native language of a large part of the population and is spoken alongside French.

French spoken with the local Reunion accent, intermingled with Creole, can be difficult to understand for native French speakers. Metropolitan French are locally nicknamed z'oreilles ("ears") for their tendency not to understand and ask people to repeat.

Other languages spoken locally include Tamil, Gujarati, Urdu, Comorian, Malagasy, Mandarin, Hakka, and Cantonese.

As is mainland France, English fluency is rare. English speakers meet every Monday evening between 7:30 PM and 11:00 PM (including during holidays) at the Moda Bar, 75 rue Pasteur, in Saint-Denis. If you speak English, it is a good place to share your culture and language while meeting traveling and resident couch-surfers. The bar allows people to bring take-out food.

LOCAL TIME

10:25 am
September 16, 2019
Indian/Reunion

CURRENT WEATHER

23.84 °C / 74.912 °F
sky is clear
Tue

23.25 °C/74 °F
light rain
Wed

21.41 °C/71 °F
sky is clear
Thu

21.75 °C/71 °F
sky is clear
Fri

21.65 °C/71 °F
sky is clear

LOCAL CURRENCY

EUR

1 USD = 0 EUR
1 GBP = 0 EUR
1 AUD = 0 EUR
1 CAD = 0 EUR

Travelers recommend visiting the following places of interests



http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 Piton de la Fournaise, La Possession, Reunion
Average: 10 (10 votes)

Piton de la Fournaise (French): "Peak of the Furnace" is a shield volcano on the eastern side of Réunion island (a French department) in the Indian...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Pas de Bellecombe, La Possession, Reunion
Average: 9.4 (13 votes)

Pas de Bellecombe is a mountain pass and vista point overlooking Enclos Fouqué, the last caldera formed by Piton de la Fournaise, the active volcano...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Maïdo, La Possession, Reunion
Average: 9.9 (10 votes)

The Maïdo is a volcanic peak on the island of Réunion, located above the city of Saint Paul and overlooking the "Cirque de Mafate". The road climbing...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Niagara Falls, La Possession, Reunion
Average: 9.3 (10 votes)

Niagara Falls is a waterfall in the commune of Sainte-Suzanne on the island of Réunion. Its height is approximately 55 metres (180 ft). It is...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Kelonia, La Possession, Reunion
Average: 9.5 (10 votes)

Kélonia is a public aquarium and observatory specialising in Marine turtles in Saint-Leu, Réunion. It was built on the site of a former Turtle...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5 ||| Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Piton Sainte-Rose, La Possession, Reunion
Average: 9.3 (10 votes)

Piton Sainte-Rose is a village located on the eastern coast of the Réunion island (a French department) in the Indian Ocean. It is part of the...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Mafate, La Possession, Reunion
Average: 9.4 (12 votes)

The Cirque de Mafate is a caldera on Réunion Island (France; located in the Indian Ocean). It was formed from the collapse of the large shield...
http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html ||| GNU Free Documentation License Saint-Leu, La Possession, Reunion
Average: 9.3 (10 votes)

Saint-Leu is a commune in the French overseas department of Réunion. It is located on the west side of the island of Réunion. Sports Surf It is...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Grand Galet Falls, La Possession, Reunion
Average: 9.4 (10 votes)

The Grand Galet Falls (also called Langevin Falls after the name of its river) is situated in the commune of Saint-Joseph on the island of Réunion...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Reunion National Park, La Possession
Average: 9.2 (10 votes)

Réunion National Park (French: Parc national de La Réunion) is a national park on the island of Réunion, an overseas department of France located in...