Visitors to Seychelles will be able to visit the building that houses the President’s office as the State House, a historical monument built in 1910 when President Wavel Ramkalawan decided to reopen its doors to the public.
Public guided tours and open days at the monument were first held for a year in 2011, when the centenary of the building’s existence was celebrated and the tours were conducted by staff from the Department of National Heritage .
Now tours are run regularly through the National History Museum in Victoria, the capital, with the capacity for up to two groups of 15 people per guided tour, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am.
In an interview with the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), Ramkalawan said that through a visit to State House, one will not only learn about the building but also other historical sites on the property.
“We want people to know where the president has his office, where important decisions are made. We want Seychellois to be able to visit it and not just see it on TV when an ambassador is visiting or for other occasions,” Ramkalawan said. .
He pointed out that the fees that foreigners will pay will be used to pay for the guides as well as for the maintenance of the garden.
“I ask everyone to use this opportunity and I take this opportunity to ask organizations to bring Seychellois here. As much as possible, when there is a group visiting, I will do my best to come and say hello at least,” Ramkalawan said.
On a guided tour of State House, visitors can see a garden full of colorful flowers and shrubs, the endemic coco de mer palms, and an enclosure with giant Aldabra tortoises. The tour also includes the cemetery, which contains the tombs and tombs of some notable historical figures in the history of Seychelles.
The most important tomb is that of Chevalier Jean-Baptiste Queau de Quincy who was the commander and civil agent of the Seychelles from 1793 to 1811 when Britain took possession of the islands.
The last person to be buried in the cemetery was the late former President James Mancham, who died on January 8, 2017.
State House was formerly known as Government House during the years when Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, was a British colony, and it was the seat of the British Governor who administered the islands at the time.