When did Libreville become the capital of Gabon?

When did Libreville become the capital of Gabon?

Following Gabon's independence from colonial administration in 1960, Libreville was named as the country's capital. At the time, the city's population was barely 32,000 people. It has since grown to over 500,000 today.

The capital city was previously known as Franceville after it was settled by French colonists in 1876. It was renamed after Libreville in Africa's coastal equatorial region. The city is also home to the largest university in the country, Université des Sciences de la Santé et de la Recherche Scientifique (USSR).

Libreville is located on the Atlantic Ocean coast about 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) east of Paris via highway A10. The city has been described as a mix of modern buildings and African shops alongside old French colonial structures. There are several museums in the city including one that showcases the history of slavery in Gabon.

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How old is Libreville?

Before the French took over the territory in 1839, Libreville was inhabited by the Mpongwe, Gabon's oldest indigenous ethnic group, who had lived there for roughly 2,000 years. French traders originally gained control of the coastal stretch that today contains the city in 1839. In 1861, France officially claimed the area as part of its African empire. The city became the capital of the new state of Gabon in 1960.

Libreville has a humid tropical climate, with average temperatures between 24 and 37 degrees Celsius year-round. The rainy season is from May to October, when it usually rains every day or almost so. The dry season is from November to April when it sometimes freezes at night.

The population of Libreville has increased dramatically since 1961, when only 12,000 people lived here. Today, it's estimated at around 1 million, making it one of Africa's most populous cities.

Libreville has been described as a "city of parks and gardens" because much of its center looks like a park. There are many museums and churches in the city, some of which are very old. New buildings are going up, but Libereville's modern architecture is based on traditional French models.

The economy of Gabon is dominated by oil, which accounts for nearly all of its foreign currency earnings.

What is the capital of the Republic of Gabon?

Gabon, a former French colony, maintains significant links to France, as well as the French language and culture. Libreville is the capital. Lambarene is located in Gabon on the Ogooue River. It was originally built as a port for the Atlantic slave trade but now serves as a tourism hub.

• Located in Central Africa, between Angola and the Republic of Congo • Area: 948,295 km2 (370,560 sq mi) • Population: 1,542,200 (2012) • Capital: Libreville

• Language spoken in Gabon: French

• Religion in Gabon: Christianized population of several denominations includes many members of the Evangelical Church who follow American practices; majority are Catholics.

• Annual income in Gabon: $1.9 billion (2011) • Per capita income: $2,300 (2011)

• President of Gabon: Ali Bongo Ondimba; elected by parliament after the death of his father Omar Bongo Abdoula AZID • Election results: Ali won with 54.4% of votes cast; opposition claims result was rigged • Parliament: National Assembly - 80 seats; Senate - 20 seats • Prime Minister: Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet; elected by parliament

About Article Author

Barbara Molleur

Barbara Molleur is an educator with a passion for science. She has been teaching for over 10 years, and has a degree in both Biology and Education.

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