Mission Ruins of Venn's Town

Photo by Roman Bruehwiler.

Mission Ruins of Venn's Town is part of the Tentative list of Seychelles in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

The Mission Ruins of Venn's Town represent the fate of freed slaves in the Seychelles and the formation of the Creole Seychellois identity. Their children were educated and Christianized here before starting a new life. Ruins of five buildings remain.

Map of Mission Ruins of Venn's Town

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

Community Reviews

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Mihai Dascalu

Romania - 27-Feb-24 -

Mission Ruins of Venn's Town (T) by Mihai Dascalu

We just visited a few hours ago on February 27, 2024. We asked for a taxi at the reception of our hotel in Victoria, it was going to be a lot of money, 600 rupees just to get there so the receptionist called a friend who was willing to take us there for 400. It was a nice ride of 20 minutes once we got out of the afternoon traffic. When we got there we noticed that they now have a lot of signs, a gate, a schedule (they close at 5 pm!). There is an admission fee, we could pay by credit card. 100 Seychelles Rupees, which is just over $7 today, per person. Our driver was curious so he got in for free. There were two remnants of buildings to see (that could take at best 3 minutes), a statue, and a gorgeous bungalow were Queen Elizabeth took the tea in 1972 with magnificent views over Mahe island. Being just on the edge of Morne Seychellois National Park the few hundred meters that we had to walk we couldn't stop admiring the numerous trees. Plus the one guard that was on site was generous to show us a chameleon in a bush, the only one we saw here (and the first one that our driver saw in his life!). We chose not to make it to the cemetery.

Overall it was a nice 90 min trip, we managed to pay "only" 800 for the full return ride.

While the story might be impressive, I have a hard time imagining this as a full WHS anytime soon. This was a place to house 37 liberated African children slaves during a 13 year period (but after 3 years most of the kids where born of African parents who worked as laborers on various plantations). They learned psalm singing and some skills away from the town below (so they wouldn't be exposed to various illnesses). No idea what happened after it closed, but apparently the reason to be submitted to Unesco is that "the ruins remain an enduring witness of the altruistic concern that the burgeoning Anglican Church in Seychelles had for those who were victims of the slave trade."

Read more from Mihai Dascalu here.

Martina Rúčková

Slovakia - 04-Mar-18 -

Mission Ruins of Venn's Town (T) by Martina Ruckova

The site of Mission ruins of Venn's Town was set up in the late 19th century and its main importance lies with taking care of children abandoned on Seychelles after abolition of slavery. Children were taught Bible studies and some useful skills, such as tending to coffee and vanilla plantations. They were free to leave the institution upon turning 16. Seychelles consider this to be one of their most important cultural sites.

On the actual site there's very little that remains, mostly brick walls of the buildings and only foundation of buildings in others. There's a lovely viewing platform where HRM Queen Elizabeth II. drank tea in 1972. Getting there is easy, it's about 6 km drive from the city centre of Victoria, capital of Seychelles. There's a taxi stand cum public parkplace right off the roundabout with the clock tower (a very small one that looks like a large toy rather than a real thing) from which you could get taxi. No taxis were seen on Sunday we visited but there was one taxi at the parking place of the site. We had our own car, so getting there was no problem. About six other cars were parked at the tiny parkplace. Google Maps shows this place as Mission lodge and just marks it by the road. In reality, there's a small turn to the right and a large sign, so follow that, it will lead you to the parking place. The are is clearly marked and signposted in both English and French. It's free to enter and open 24/7.

I have to say the visit was a bit underwhelming, but then, there isn't much in Mahe Island culturally wise to do in general (if you don't count Takamaka distillery tour :) - you visit Victoria, see the Cathedral and the Market, heck, even a small stall in the middle of parking place is marked as historically important place. The way up towards the mission lodge is worth it for the wonderful views of the bay.

Full Name
Mission Ruins of Venn's Town
Archaeological site - Civilizations of Sub-Saharan Africa
2013 Added to Tentative List

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Mission Ruins of Venn's Town (T)
WHS 1997-2024