Libreville

Libreville

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Libreville is the capital
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

 and largest city of Gabon
Gabon
Gabon , officially the Gabonese Republic is a state in west central Africa sharing borders with Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, and with the Republic of the Congo curving around the east and south. The Gulf of Guinea, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean is to the west...

, in west central Africa. The city is a port on the Komo River
Komo River
The Komo is a river of Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. It flows for .It rises in Equatorial Guinea in the southwestern part of the Woleu-Ntem plateau. However much of its watershed is in the territory of Gabon. The largest tributary of the River Komo is the Mbeya River. Its course is disturbed by...

, near the Gulf of Guinea
Gulf of Guinea
The Gulf of Guinea is the northeasternmost part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean between Cape Lopez in Gabon, north and west to Cape Palmas in Liberia. The intersection of the Equator and Prime Meridian is in the gulf....

, and a trade center for a timber
Timber
Timber may refer to:* Timber, a term common in the United Kingdom and Australia for wood materials * Timber, Oregon, an unincorporated community in the U.S...

 region. As of 2005, it has a population of 578,156.

History


The area was inhabited by the Mpongwé
Mpongwe
The Mpongwe are an ethnic group in Gabon, notable as the earliest known dwellers around the Estuary, where Libreville is now located.The Mpongwe language identifies them as a subgroup of the Myènè people of the Bantus, who are believed to have been in the area for some 2,000 years, although the...

 tribe long before the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 acquired the land in 1839. In 1846, L'Elizia, a Brazilian ship carrying slaves for sale, was captured by the French navy near Loango. The slaves were freed and founded Libreville (French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 for "Freetown") in 1848. It was the chief port of French Equatorial Africa
French Equatorial Africa
French Equatorial Africa or the AEF was the federation of French colonial possessions in Middle Africa, extending northwards from the Congo River to the Sahara Desert.-History:...

 from 1934 to 1946 and was the central focus of the Battle of Gabon
Battle of Gabon
The Battle of Gabon or the Battle of Libreville was part of the West African Campaign of World War II fought in November 1940. The battle resulted in the Free French forces under General Charles de Gaulle taking Libreville, Gabon, and taking all of French Equatorial Africa from Vichy French...

 in 1940.

Libreville was named in imitation of Freetown
Freetown
Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa. It is a major port city on the Atlantic Ocean located in the Western Area of the country, and had a city proper population of 772,873 at the 2004 census. The city is the economic, financial, and cultural center of...

 and grew only slowly as a trading post
Trading post
A trading post was a place or establishment in historic Northern America where the trading of goods took place. The preferred travel route to a trading post or between trading posts, was known as a trade route....

 and a minor administrative centre
Administrative centre
An administrative centre is a term often used in several countries to refer to a county town, or other seat of regional or local government, or the place where the central administration of a commune is located....

 to a population of 32,000 on independence in 1960. It only received its first bank branch when Bank of West Africa (BAO) opened a branch in 1930. Since independence, the city has grown rapidly and now houses nearly half the national population.

Geography


From north to south, major districts of the city are the residential area Batterie IV, Quartier Louis (known for its nightlife), Mont-Bouët
Mont-Bouët
The marché Mont-Bouët , in Libreville is Gabon's largest market, with hundreds of stalls selling fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry , fabric, clothing, jewelry, household goods, traditional medicine and a variety of other goods...

 and Nombakélé (busy commercial areas), Glass (the first European settlement in Gabon), Oloumi (a major industrial
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

 area) and Lalala, a residential area. The city’s port
Port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....

 and train station
Train station
A train station, also called a railroad station or railway station and often shortened to just station,"Station" is commonly understood to mean "train station" unless otherwise qualified. This is evident from dictionary entries e.g...

 on the Trans-Gabon Railway
Trans-Gabon Railway
The Trans-Gabon Railway is the only railway in Gabon. It runs 670 km east from Owendo port station in Libreville to Franceville via numerous stations, the main ones being Ndjolé, Lopé, Booué, Lastoursville and Moanda.- Construction :...

 line to Franceville
Franceville
Franceville or Masuku is one of the four largest cities in Gabon, with a population of around 22,000 people. It lies on the River Mpassa and at the end of the Trans-Gabon Railway and the N3 road. It grew from a village named Masuku when Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza chose it to resettle former...

 lie in Owendo
Owendo
Owendo is a port city in Gabon, forming a south western suburb of Libreville. It lies at the western end of the Trans-Gabon Railway, and was opened in 1988.- See also :* List of deep water ports * Cement in Africa- External links :*...

, south of the main built-up area. Inland from these districts lie poorer residential areas.

Climate


Libreville features a tropical monsoon climate
Tropical monsoon climate
Tropical monsoon climate, occasionally also known as a tropical wet climate or tropical monsoon and trade-wind littoral climate in climate classification, is a relatively rare type of climate that corresponds to the Köppen climate classification category "Am."Tropical monsoon climates have monthly...

 with a lengthy wet season
Wet season
The the wet season, or rainy season, is the time of year, covering one or more months, when most of the average annual rainfall in a region occurs. The term green season is also sometimes used as a euphemism by tourist authorities. Areas with wet seasons are dispersed across portions of the...

 and a short dry season
Dry season
The dry season is a term commonly used when describing the weather in the tropics. The weather in the tropics is dominated by the tropical rain belt, which oscillates from the northern to the southern tropics over the course of the year...

. Libreville’s wet season
Wet season
The the wet season, or rainy season, is the time of year, covering one or more months, when most of the average annual rainfall in a region occurs. The term green season is also sometimes used as a euphemism by tourist authorities. Areas with wet seasons are dispersed across portions of the...

 spans about nine months (September through May), with a heavy amount of rain falling during these months. The city’s dry season
Dry season
The dry season is a term commonly used when describing the weather in the tropics. The weather in the tropics is dominated by the tropical rain belt, which oscillates from the northern to the southern tropics over the course of the year...

 lasts from June through August where on average a total of about 35 mm of precipitation falls. As common with many cities with this climate, average temperatures remain relatively constant throughout the course of the year, with average high temperatures at around 30 °C (86 °F) .

Transport


Libreville International Airport
Libreville International Airport
Libreville Leon M'ba International Airport is an airportsituated in Libreville, Gabon. It is the main international airport in the country.Named after the first president of Gabon, Léon M'ba, it was the hub of former national airline Air Gabon until March 2006.-Airlines and destinations:-Cargo...

 is the largest airport in Gabon and is located around 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) north of the city.

Culture and education



Sights in Libreville include:
  • the National Museum of Arts and Traditions
  • the French cultural centre
  • St Marie’s Cathedral, seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Libreville
    Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Libreville
    The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Libreville is the Metropolitan See for the Ecclesiastical province of Libreville in Gabon.-History:* January 22, 1842: Established as Apostolic Prefecture of Two Guineas and Senegambia from the Diocese of Funchal in Portugal and the Diocese of Tomé in São Tomé and...

  • the carved wood church of St Michael, Nkembo
  • the Arboretum de Sibang
  • two cultural villages.

Libreville's main market
Market
A market is one of many varieties of systems, institutions, procedures, social relations and infrastructures whereby parties engage in exchange. While parties may exchange goods and services by barter, most markets rely on sellers offering their goods or services in exchange for money from buyers...

 lies in Mont-Bouët. Gabon's school of administration and school of law are in Libreville. Libreville also hosts the Omar Bongo University
Omar Bongo University
Omar Bongo University was founded as the National University of Gabon in 1970. It was renamed in honor of President Omar Bongo in 1978. It is based in Libreville.-Source:* bc.edu* uob.ga...

 (est. 1970), various research institutes and a library. Alongside the Komo estuary
Estuary
An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea....

 is the Pongara National Park
Pongara National Park
Pongara National Park is a national park in Gabon near the capital Libreville along the Komo estuary and the Atlantic Ocean. It covers an area of 929 km². - External links :*...

 of 929 km2. Behind Cap Esterias is Akanda National Park, famed for its large congregations of migrating waterbirds.

The city is served by Libreville Hospital
Libreville Hospital
Libreville Hospital is the most important hospital in the African country of Gabon. Located in the nation's capital of Libreville, the hospital has an accident and emergency department which serves much of the country.The hospital treated soldiers during the 2009 Gabonese helicopter crash....

.

Languages


Libreville is, with Abidjan
Abidjan
Abidjan is the economic and former official capital of Côte d'Ivoire, while the current capital is Yamoussoukro. it was the largest city in the nation and the third-largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris, and Kinshasa but before Montreal...

, Ivory Coast, one of a few African cities where French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 is truly becoming a native language, with some local features.

Economy



The city is home to a shipbuilding
Shipbuilding
Shipbuilding is the construction of ships and floating vessels. It normally takes place in a specialized facility known as a shipyard. Shipbuilders, also called shipwrights, follow a specialized occupation that traces its roots to before recorded history.Shipbuilding and ship repairs, both...

 industry, brewing industry and sawmills. The city exports raw materials such as wood, rubber
Rubber
Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, is an elastomer that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the sticky, milk colored latex sap collected and refined...

 and cocoa from the city's main port, and the deepwater port at Owendo
Owendo
Owendo is a port city in Gabon, forming a south western suburb of Libreville. It lies at the western end of the Trans-Gabon Railway, and was opened in 1988.- See also :* List of deep water ports * Cement in Africa- External links :*...

.

Gabon Airlines
Gabon Airlines
Gabon Airlines is an airline headquartered in Libreville, Gabon, concentrating on African and European flight services out of Libreville International Airport.-History:...

 has its headquarters in Libreville. Prior to their dissolutions, both Air Gabon
Air Gabon
Air Gabon was the national, state-owned airline of Gabon, operating out of Libreville International Airport to a variety of destinations across Western and Southern Africa, as well as to Europe and the Middle East....

 and Gabon Express
Gabon Express
Gabon Express was an airline based in Libreville, Gabon. It operated scheduled passenger services and passenger and cargo charters. It ceased operations in June 2004.-Code data:*ICAO Code: GBE*Callsign: GABEX-History:...

 were headquartered on the grounds of Libreville International Airport
Libreville International Airport
Libreville Leon M'ba International Airport is an airportsituated in Libreville, Gabon. It is the main international airport in the country.Named after the first president of Gabon, Léon M'ba, it was the hub of former national airline Air Gabon until March 2006.-Airlines and destinations:-Cargo...

.

Notable residents

  • Daniel Cousin
    Daniel Cousin
    Daniel Michel Cousin is a Gabonese footballer who plays as a striker. He last played for Larissa and represents Gabon, for whom he is captain. Previously he has played for , Martigues, , Le Mans Union Club 72, RC Lens and Hull City....

    , football player who plays for Larissa FC and the Gabon national team
    Gabon national football team
    The Gabon national football team, nicknamed Azingo Nationale, is the national team of Gabon and is controlled by the Fédération Gabonaise de Football...

    , of which he is the captain and all-time top scorer.

External links


Site officiel de la Mairie de Libreville