History of Maison Quéau de Quinssy

Maison Quéau de Quinssy is the home and heart of the department. The creole-colonial architectural design makes the Maison quite an eye catcher as it shares a glance into Seychelles’ history. With long Parisian balconies being its trademark, it radiates great elegance and proudly stands out amongst the buildings in Victoria.

Maison Queau de Quinssy was named unmistakably after Chevalier Jean-Baptiste Quéau de Quinssy who was the last French Commandant and the first British Administrator during Seychelles’ colonial days. Additionally, historians even claim him to be Seychelles’ first diplomat. His diplomacy followed the principals of what we know today as non-alignment, an approach that has marked our diplomacy until this very day. At a time of war in the nineteenth-century between the French and the British, Quéau de Quinssy would raise the French tricolour if a French vessel appeared close to the islands and when he saw a British vessel he would fly the Union Jack to avoid confrontations. He even managed to prevent greater hostilities between the two when he negotiated the First Capitulation that made Seychelles a British colony. Quéau de Quinssy died in 1827 and was buried at the State House cemetery.

Our Maison was inaugurated by the famous and sadly late Foreign Affairs Minister Danielle de St. Jorre in 1994. Minister de St. Jorre laid great emphasis on the creole language and culture, hence it is much to her credit that the Maison was design as such. More than twenty years later Maison Quéau de Quinssy remains amongst the first places foreign officials visit in Seychelles and it never fails to leave an impression on all those who enter its doors.