Sunday, August 17, 2014



This is the capital city of Mozambique with a population of about two million people and a large harbour.
For further history of Maputo go Maputo Bay and Surrounds.

Under Portuguese influence, Lourenco Marques became one of Africa’s most beautiful and fashionable cities with a cosmopolitan Continental atmosphere, pavement cafes, and a thriving tourist industry.The famous Polana Hotel was one of the tourist social highlights and the nightclubs pulsed with action until the early hours.

The civil war in the 1970s and 1980s changed all that. When peace finally came, the once beautiful Mozambican city was in terrible disrepair. Thousands of immigrants crowded the buildings, litter and filth lay everywhere and major services including water and electricity were non existent.
Signs of the struggle still show by the bullet holes and marks on the walls of many buildings of the city. These damaged buildings include not only private homes but also some markets, museums, palaces and even synagogues. The brighter side is that the city is being rebuilt, with the hope that it can again capture it's attraction and success as a very popular tourist destination.
Today the city is slowly recreating some of its former glory. The tourists are once more visiting the five-star Polana Hotel, with its view over the harbour.

Caution should be exercised when visiting these areas, ask at your hotel or at a tourist information centre.

1. The National Museum of Art. This museum houses a large collection of works by Mozambican artists such as Malangatana, Naguib Mucavele and Chissano. It is situated at 1233 Av Ho Chi Minh.
2. The Iron House. This was designed by Gustave Eiffel, of Eiffel Tower fame, in 1892 (He incidentally never visited Mozambique). It is made up entirely of steel walls and roof, all bolted together and was originally intended as the Governor's house. Being made of steel it was far to hot and impractical to use in the hot sub tropical climate of Maputo.It is in R.Cap near to Samora Machel's statue.
3. Cathedral of Our Lady of Conception - Nossa Senhora da Conceicao. This is a well known landmark with a tall single spire, set in Praca da Independencia (Independence Square). 4. The Statue of Samora Machel. He was Mozambique's first President from 1975 to 1986, when he died in an air crash in South africa under suspicious circumstances. (For more information on Machel, see Home Page under history ).Situated at the top end of Av. Samora Machel.
5.City Hall (Conselho Municipal). This building houses the Mayor chambers or in colonial days the governor. It is a distinctive rather austere building in a classical style of those times. It was completed in 1945 and had the words"Aqui e Portugal" (This is Portugal) inscribed on the outside front of the building. These have subsequently been removed. This building is situated off Av. Ho Chi Minh. 6. Louis Trichardt Trek Memorial
This memorial is on Av. Josina Machel, to the Voortrekkers Leader, Louis Trichardt and his trek who tried to find a route to the sea through Mozambique and eventually came to grief when most of the trekkers died of malaria in the then Delagoa Bay (Maputo) in 1838. See The Boers.
Louis Trichardt and his wife are buried at the monument.
There is a water feature of mosaic tiles featuring the crests of the places where the various members had originated from and on a wall behind the feature are a list of their names They tried to find a way of establishing a road from the Transvaal to Delagoa Bay in order to be independent of British ports.
7. Jardim Tunduru Botanical Gardens. These were laid out in 1885 by a very well known Englishman called Thomas Honney.Thomas Honney designed many well known gardens of the day including a garden for the Sultan of Turkey and the Greek King. The gardens are behind the Statue of Samora Machel.
8. Museu da Moeda (Money Museum) is also known as Casa Amarela or Yellow House is accepted as being the oldest standing building, still in use in Maputo. It is on R. Consiglieri Pedroso.
9. Praca dos Trabalhadores (Workers Square).previously called PRACAS DOS MacMahon
At the bottom end of Guerra Popular you will find the Statue commemorating Mozambican soldiers who fell in the First World War. This statue is of a woman who had killed a large snake believed to have been a cobra, that had been terrorising the local population. The cobra was said to have fallen into a pot of boiling porridge that she was carrying on her head. Many strange and mysterious things happened in Darkest Arica!!!

10. CFM Railway Station (Caminho de Ferro de Mocambique). This Victorian style building was also designed by Gustave Eiffel in 1910 he used wrought iron for the roof dome and marble for the outside pillars and arches. Inside the station building are two steam engines of the wood burning type on display.

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