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Seychelles: granite and coral islands rich in beaches

The Seychelles (Republic of Seychelles/République des Seychelles/Repiblik Sesel) are an archipelago made up of islands located in the Indian Ocean. They are located to the east of the East African coast and to the north of Madagascar.

The most important of the archipelagoes is the Seychelles archipelago, made up of many granite islands. The most important one is the island of Mahé with 155 sq km, where most of the inhabitants of the island state live and where the capital Victoria lies. Other islands are Praslin with 38 sq km, Silhouette with 20 sq km and La Digue with 10 sq km.

The granite islands are mountainous and the Morne Seychellois on the island of Mahé has the maximum elevation of 905 meters. The other islands that make up the country are several hundred coral atolls: The Amirante Islands, Cosmoledo Islands, Farquhar Islands and the Islands of Aldabra. The atoll of Aldabra with 155 sq km is the second largest atoll of the world, only outstripped by Kiritimati/Christmas Island in the Pacific Island State of Kiribati.

The islands were known to Arab and Persian sailors since the twelfth century and the Seychelles were visited at the beginning of the sixteenth century by Portuguese explorers. The French arrived in the eighteenth century and occupied it in 1756. It were also the French, who named the islands with their name in honour of Jean Moreau de Séchelles, the minister of finance of Louis XV, king of France. During the Napoleonic wars the islands were occupied by the British, who held them until independence, granted in 1976.

English text correction by Dietrich Köster. 

  • Area: 451 sq km: Arable Land 15%, Pastures 0%, Forests and Bushland 11%, Uncultivated and Unproductive Land 74%
  • Population: 83,000 (as of 2008): Creols 80%, Indians 5%, Blacks 3%, Chinese 1%, Europeans.
  • State Capital: Victoria.
  • Official Languages: The official languages are English, French and French Creole.
  • Religion: Christians 92%: Catholics 82%, Anglicans 6%, Protestants 4%, Hinduists 2%, Muslims 1%.
  • Currency: Seychelles Rupee (SCR)
  • Time Zone: UTC+4 hours.

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