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Victoria, Seychelles

Victoria, Seychelles

Named Port Victoria in honor of the British queen after her coronation, the small capital of the Seychelles is the only seaport in the country. One of the main tourist attractions is the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens. Established almost a century ago, the gardens encompass 15 acres of native and exotic plants as well as flying foxes, giant tortoises, and an orchid garden. Modern buildings of concrete and glass have sprouted up in recent years and the few remaining colonial buildings lie around Freedom Square. The most prominent historical structure is the clock tower. Erected in 1903, it was modeled on Little Ben, a small version of Big Ben in London.

Overlooking the square, St Paul's Cathedral is built on the site of the first church of the Seychelles, which was destroyed by a freak cyclone in 1862. At Rond-Point de l'Indépendance, in the centre of the city, a statue of three pairs of bird's wings symbolizes the origins of the population in Europe, Africa, and Asia.