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Location of Banjul in The Gambia
Street in Banjul city
Street in Banjul city
Banjul is the capital of The Gambia. The population of the city proper is only 34,828 but the total urban area is many times larger with a population of 523,589 (2003 census). It is located on St Mary's Island (or Banjul Island) where the Gambia River enters the Atlantic Ocean. Banjul is located at 13°28' North, 16°36' West (13.4667, -16.60).


History - Contents

In 1816, the British founded Banjul as a trading post and base for suppressing the slave trade. It was first named Bathurst after Henry Bathurst, the secretary of the British Colonial Office, but was changed to Banjul in 1973.
Arch 22 at the entrance to Banjul
Arch 22 at the entrance to Banjul
On July 22, 1994, Banjul was the scene of a coup d'etat. To commemorate this event, Arch 22 was built as an entrance portal to the capital. The gate is 35 metres tall and the centre of an open square. It was originally intended as a majestic entrance over the highway into the city, but due to planning and architectural errors, the entrance is shut, forcing cars around it and into the side streets. It is opened only when the president needs to pass through. It houses a textile museum.Attractions in the city include the Gambian National Museum, the Albert Market, Banjul State House, Banjul Court House, two cathedrals and several major mosques.


Economy - Contents

Banjul is the main urban area of The Gambia and holds the country's economic and administrative center. As the fourth most densely populated country in Africa, The Gambia has more than one urban area. Peanut processing is the country's principle industry, but bee's wax, palm wood, palm oil, and skins and hides are also shipped from its port.Ferries sail from Banjul to Barra. Banjul International Airport lies near the city.
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