Maputo, officially named Lourenço Marques until 1976, is the capital and most populous city of Mozambique. Located near the southern end of the country, it is positioned within 120km of the Swaziland and South Africa borders. Maputo is a port city with an economy centred around commerce. It is also noted for its vibrant cultural scene and distinctive, eclectic architecture. Maputo is situated on a large natural bay on the Indian Ocean, near where the rivers Tembe, Mbuluzi, Matola and Infulene converge. The city consists of seven administrative divisions, which are each subdivided into quarters. Maputo is a cosmopolitan city with Bantu, Portuguese and, to a lesser extent, Arabic, Indian and Chinese languages and cultures present. The area on which Maputo stands was first settled as a fishing village in the 1500s. It was soon named Lourenço Marques after the navigator of the same name who first explored the area in 1544. The modern city traces its origins to a Portuguese fort established on the site in 1781. A town grew around the fort starting around 1850 and in 1877 it was elevated to city status. In 1898, the colony of Portuguese Mozambique relocated its capital there. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Lourenço Marques grew both in population and economic development as a port city. Upon Mozambican independence in 1975, the city became the national capital and was renamed Maputo. Read more >
Activity: City tour.
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