1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Loanda

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LOANDA (São Paulo de Loanda), a seaport of West Africa, capital of the Portuguese province of Angola, situated in 8° 48′ S., 13° 7′ E., on a bay between the rivers Bango and Kwanza. The bay, protected from the surf by a long narrow island of sand, is backed by a low sandy cliff which at its southern end sweeps out with a sharp curve and terminates in a bold point crowned by Fort San Miguel. The depth of water at the entrance to the bay is 20 fathoms or more. The bay has silted up considerably, but there is a good anchorage about 11/2 m. from the shore in 7 to 14 fathoms, besides cranage accommodation and a floating dock. Vessels discharge into lighters, and are rarely delayed on account of the weather. A part of the town lies on the foreshore, but the more important buildings—the government offices, the governor’s residence, the palace of the bishop of Angola, and the hospital—are situated on higher ground. Most of the European houses are large stone buildings of one storey with red tile roofs. Loanda possesses a meteorological observatory, public garden, tramways, gas-works, statues to Salvador Correia de Sá, who wrested Angola from the Dutch, and to Pedro Alexandrino, a former governor, and is the starting-point of the railway to Ambaca and Malanje.

Loanda was founded in 1576, and except between 1640 and 1648, when it was occupied by the Dutch, has always been in Portuguese possession. It was for over two centuries the chief centre of the slave trade between Portuguese West Africa and Brazil. During that time the traffic of the port was of no small account, and after a period of great depression consequent on the suppression of that trade, more legitimate commerce was developed. There is a regular service of steamers between the port and Lisbon, Liverpool and Hamburg. The town has some 15,000 inhabitants, including a larger European population than any other place on the west coast of Africa. It is connected by submarine cables with Europe and South Africa. Fully half the imports and export trade of Angola (q.v.) passes through Loanda.