Luanda is the largest city in Angola as well
as its capital. It is situated on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean
in the Sao Paulo Province. Luanda was found in 1575 by the
Portuguese explorers under an original name of Sao Paulo da Assuncao
de Loanda. It became the largest city of Angola as well as its
province. It always served as an important role as a sea port. Over
centuries it grew to a bustling metropolis of 6 million inhabitants
in the city and its suburbs.
Luanda occupies an advantageous position on the coast of the
Atlantic Ocean, in the area where the Kwanza River flows into it.
The climate in this zone is tropical, the average annual rainfall is
250-500 mm, and most of them fall in February-March. The warmest
month of the year is March, at which time the mercury column of the
thermometer rises to + 30 ° C, in July the temperature drops to + 16
° C, which is largely due to the cooling effect of the Bengel
current. It also explains the abnormally dry (for near equatorial
latitudes) climate of the city.
In the vicinity of Luanda, grassy and shrubbery savannas have
been preserved almost in their original form, numerous palm trees
grow there, the groves of which south of the capital are thinning.
Outside the city, you can find such wild animals as elephants,
lions, leopards, zebras, antelopes, monkeys, but their populations
have declined sharply in recent years due to human poaching. In
coastal waters there are various representatives of the aquatic
fauna: whales, turtles, mollusks, several species of fish. The city
center is located at an altitude of 6 m above sea level.
Travel Destinations in Luanda
Banco Nacional de Angola (Luanda)
Ave 4 de Fevereiro
Museu de Antropologia
Rua Friedrich Engels
Open: 9am- 6pm Mon- Fri
Museu Central das Forcas Armadas
Entrance Fee: US 2.50
Open: 9am- 6pm
Museu de Historia Natural
Rua Nossa Senhora da Muxima
Open: 11am- 5pm Tue- Sun
Palacio de Ferro
Rua Major Kanyangulo
Igreja de Nossa Senhora dos Remedios
Rua Rainha Ginga
Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Nazare
Praca do Ambiente
The settlement was founded by the Portuguese
colonialist Paulo Dias de Novais (grandson of the famous navigator
Bartolomeu Dias) in 1575 and was named São Paulo di Luanda (renamed
Luanda in 1975). At the same time, on the rocky cape towering over
the city, the fortifications of San Miguel (St. Michael's Fortress)
The status of the city of São Paulo de Luanda
acquired in 1605, and at the end of the 16th century the new city
became the center of the Portuguese colonial administration and the
main base of the expansionist forces in Angola. In 1641, the
Portuguese were forced to cede their outpost on the Atlantic coast
to the Dutch, and after 7 years they returned their territories.
Between the 17th and 19th centuries, Luanda was one of the
largest centers of the slave trade; about 3,000,000 Negroes were
transported from the Portuguese-controlled territories through the
In the XX century, Luanda became the center of the
national liberation struggle of the peoples of Angola, there were
often clashes with Portuguese troops.
In 1961, the leadership
of the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA)
organized the inhabitants of Luanda to revolt. The armed
demonstration of the capital's inhabitants served as a signal for
the outbreak of civil war.
In April 1974, after a series of
revolutionary uprisings, the Portuguese government agreed to grant
independence to Angola. In November 1975, a new state appeared on
the political map of the world - the People's Republic of Angola
(since August 1992 - the Republic of Angola), whose capital was
Luanda. Since 1978, the largest settlements of Angola have been
repeatedly attacked by South Africa, which sought to prevent the
spread of communist influence in the region and supported the
National Union for the Full Independence of Angola (UNITA).
In 1991, an agreement on a peaceful settlement of the conflict was
signed between representatives of the Government of Angola and the
opposing UNITA group in Lisbon. Nevertheless, the political
situation in the region remained unstable, which hindered the rapid
development of Angolan cities, including Luanda.
according to a study by London-based consulting company ECA
International, Luanda was the most expensive capital in the world.
Among the reasons for high prices are the city’s infrastructure
destroyed by three decades of civil war, long delays in cargo
handling at the city’s port, and high inflation rates. The profits
of foreign companies made in Angola through the extraction of oil
and diamonds create an increased demand for high-quality housing,
expensive restaurants and cars, shoes and clothes, while most
Angolans live in extreme poverty. A liter of milk in Luanda can cost
up to three dollars, and renting a small two-room apartment can cost
up to seven thousand dollars a month.
In 2013, according to
Mercer, which conducted a regular “Cost of Living Survey”, Luanda
was once again recognized as the most expensive city in the world,
surpassing Moscow and Tokyo by this indicator.
Population, language, religion Luanda is the
largest city in Angola, its population (with suburbs) is about 4.5
million people. The ethnic composition of the capital is quite
diverse: representatives of the African peoples Ovimbundu, Mbunda,
Bacongo, Lund, Chokwe, Ngantuela, Kuanyama and others live here, as
well as Europeans and a mixed African-European population. Capital
residents of African descent use the Portuguese language for
official negotiations, and among themselves, as a rule, in the Bantu
languages (kimbundu, umbunda, kikongo), which are gradually being
replaced by Portuguese. 90-98% of young people in the capital speak
only Portuguese. Already in the 1983 census, Portuguese was named
the native language of 75% of the 2.5 millionth population of
Luanda. Angolans of European and mixed origin speak Portuguese,
which is the state language. Many residents of Luanda adhere to
traditional local beliefs, there are also Christians - Catholics and
Protestants (Baptists, Methodists and Congregationalists). In 1970,
there were 480,613 people living in the city, with an estimated 2012
population of Luanda was 2,825,311.
Luanda is the center of cultural development of Angola. There are
several hundred elementary schools with an eight-year term of study,
there are training courses for admission to technical and
pedagogical educational institutions that provide secondary
education. Opened in 1976, the University of Agostinho Neto, you can
get higher education. Teaching in all schools and the university is
conducted in Portuguese.
Since 1956, the Academy of Music has
been operating in the city, the Angola Museum has been operating,
where a collection of natural-historical exhibits is presented, and
the Dundu Museum, which contains historical and ethnographic
The National and Municipal Libraries have
collected works by the best African poets and writers such as
Luandin Vieira, Arthur Pestana dos Santos (pseudonym Pepetel) and
others, as well as masterpieces of world literature. Troupes of
unprofessional actors perform stage productions of local authors.
The best traditions of musical culture and dance are preserved
in the capital, and the modern popular music of Angola has a close
connection with the musical traditions of Brazil and the Caribbean
In the city, the development of which began at the
end of the 16th century, at the walls of the fortress castle of San
Miguel (now the Historical Museum), many architectural sights have
been preserved. From the XVII century, the walls of the forts of San
Pedro da Barcom and San Fernando di Penedas remained here.
the architectural appearance of the central part of Luanda, built up
like a provincial Portuguese city, the transition from baroque to
classicism found expression. The main attractions of this part of
the capital are the Jesuit Church (XVI century), the Carmelite
temple (circa 1638), the Church of the Madonna of Nazareth (1664)
and others. City sidewalks are paved with delightful mosaics.
In the 1950s and 1970s, significant changes were made to the
appearance of the capital: semicircular development began inland,
the streets were planted with trees, parks and squares were laid out
in the city.