Madagascar

Isle do Portugues

 

Still today, in the XXI century, near Tolanaro or Fort Dauphin, in an island at the mouth of the Vinanibe River the remains of this settlement are visible. The fort is square shaped and it is a very important historical witness, because it is the first European building build in Madagascar.

This fort is located some 10 km to the west of Fort Dauphin. It offers a testimony of a Portuguese presence that dates back to 1504. Originally the settlement was composed of the ten survivors of a shipwreck that sought shelter on a small island known as “Santa Cruz”. These men built a fort to protect themselves from the aggressive natives. Despite this measure, all settlers were killed in 1535. In 1616, a Portuguese mission tried to settle on the same island of Santa Cruz, but king Tsiambany refused to give them permission, so that the Jesuits had to leave in 1617.

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