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Mbanza Kongo

AngolaNorth & Luanda


Mbanza Kongo 

Located on a plateau at a height of 570 meters, Mbanza Kongo served as the political and spiritual center of the Kingdom of Kongo, one of the greatest formed nations in Southern Africa between the 14th to 19th centuries. The historical distric grew up around the royal home, the customary court, the holy tree and the royal burial grounds.

When the Portuguese arrived in the 15th century they added stone buildings, built using European methods, to the existing urban conurbation which was constructed using indigenous resources. It was affluent, and they expanded on the already substantial urban conurbation, which included multiple churches.

The town then saw the spread of Christianity as the local elites became more Westernized, without ever sacrificing its native culture. Mbanza Kongo exemplifies the significant changes brought about by the advent of Christianity and the arrival of the Portuguese in Central Africa more than anywhere else in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The town preserves the remains of its customary, colonial, and religious past in its constructed structure and archaeological vestiges, and it is a revered place of remembering. The Kingdom of Kongo was strategically located at the crossroads of the most significant slave trade routes to the Americas and the Caribbean. So far, no physical evidence of the slave trade has been discovered up to now.

Mbanza Kongo became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017 for its historical and cultural value.

(Source UNESCO)


  • AngolaNorth & Luanda

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