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Image of Kinshasa and Brazzaville, taken by NASA.
Image of Kinshasa and Brazzaville, taken by NASA.
Brazzaville is the capital and largest city of the Republic of the Congo and is located on the Congo River. It has a population of 1,174,000 (2005 census).

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Buildings and institutions

History - Contents

The city was founded in 1880 on the site of a village named Ntamo by an Italian explorer, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, after whom the city was named.In 1944, Brazzaville hosted a meeting of the Free French forces and representatives of France's African colonies. The resulting Brazzaville Declaration was intended to redefine the relationship between France and its African colonies after World War II.Until the 1960s, the city was divided into European (the center of the city) and African sections ( Poto-Poto, Bacongo, and Makélékélé). In 1980 it became a "commune" separated from the Pool Region and divided into seven "arrondissements":- Makélékélé (1), Bacongo (2), Poto-Poto (3), Moungali (4), Ouenzé (5), Talangaï (6) et Mfilou (7).The city has frequently been a staging ground for regional conflicts, including conflicts between rebel and government forces and between forces of the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Angola.

Geography - Contents

Map of the Republic of the Congo showing Brazzaville.
Brazzaville is located at 4°16′S 15°17′E [1]. In order to distinguish between the two African countries with "Congo" in their names, the Republic of the Congo is sometimes called Congo-Brazzaville, as opposed to Congo-Kinshasa (the Democratic Republic of the Congo, known from 1971 to 1997 as Zaire, the capital of which is Kinshasa). Kinshasa lies on the southern bank of the Congo, across from Brazzaville.The city is a commune that is separated from the other regions of the republic; it is surrounded by the Pool Region.

Buildings and institutions - Contents

Notable buildings in the city include St Anne's Basilica, built in 1949 by Eyrelle, and known for its green tiled roof; Eyrelle also designed a house in the city for Charles de Gaulle. Other buildings include the ELF Tower and the Congressional Palace. Other features include the Marien Nguouabi Museum, Brazzaville Zoo and the Poto-Poto Art School.The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa is based in Brazzaville on a campus at the Cité du Djoué.

Transport - Contents

The city is home to the Maya-Maya Airport and a railway station on the Congo-Ocean Railway. It is also an important river port, with ferries sailing to Kinshasa and to Bangui via Impfondo. The Congo River Rapids lie on the outskirts of the city, where the Djoué River meets the Congo, rendering river transport to the coast impossible.
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