Benguela ( São Felipe de Benguela officially, formerly Benguella ) is a city in western Angola and the capital of the homonymous province. About 25 kilometers west of Benguela is Baía Farta, which is known for its special fruit and salt. A bay before Baía Azul is a kind of leisure area for residents of Benguela; wealthy residents of the city entertain weekend homes here. On weekends, the local beach is populated with city residents.
The city is located about 430 kilometers south of the capital Luanda at the mouth of Caimbambo in the Benguela Cove. The nearest major town is Lobito, located 35 kilometers north. The coastline is dominated by sandy beaches and rocky sections.
Benguela was founded in 1617 by the Portuguese under Manoel Pereira Cerveira. It was a long time an important trading center in the region, especially for the slave trade to Brazil and Cuba. After its completion, the city continued to target point which is operated by the Ovimbundu caravan trade, which ran until the early 20th century by Ostangola. The anchorage Benguelas is located about two kilometers from the city and has a depth of 7-11 meters.
In addition to the churches of São Felipe and Santo António, and the Hospital and the fortress there are few buildings that were built before 1900 and are preserved. On the other hand, a number buildings in particular from the 1940s and 50s under monument protection, including movie theaters, churches, schools, the post office, the town hall, and built after 1955 Hotel Mombaka.
Benguela was a certain cultural center of the Angola - Germans during the last phase of the Portuguese colonial rule. Even today testifies to this, the vacant German school of Benguela, right on a main road. The German school Benguela was until the end of the colonial era in 1975 in operation, but has since closed since fled along with most Portuguese almost all Germans in front of the Angolan civil war after independence in 1975.
Management and residents
Benguela is the capital of the province of Benguela. It is also the headquarters of the district of the same name (Municipio ), which is divided into six municipalities ( Comunas ): A Zona, Zona B, C Zona, Zona D, E and Zona Zona F.
According to the census of 1983 Benguela had a population of 155,000, the third largest city in the country, according to estimates in 2006 was the population of 513,000. The estimates from 2013 put the population of the city with 747,000.
Since 2009, the city is home to a regional state university, the Universidade Katyavala Bwila. Also to be found in the city branches of the Portuguese University Lusíada and the Jean Piaget University of Angola.
By the end of 2009 Estádio Nacional de Benguela Ombaka opened was a venue of the Africa Cup of 2010. Football Club Estrela Clube Primeiro de Maio, founded in 1981 bears in the stadium its home games in Girabola out, the highest league in men's football in Angola. 2012, a second club from Benguela rose to the highest league, the Club Nacional de Benguela. The club was founded in 1920 and was able to win the 1980 National Cup Taça de Angola. He now welcomes its guest teams in the 5,000 -seat stadium Atlético São Filipe.
Until today, a game mode in the Brazilian Martial Arts Capoeira " Benguela ". This is played mainly on the ground and is the " Capoeira de Angola " very similar, but has a faster Toque ( rhythm).
At the upstream of the city beach of Praia Morena is the motor racing circuit Autódromo de Benguela, which was used from 1972 to 1974 for car race of the Angolan sports car series. It is now in ruins.
Benguela was the starting point of the Benguela railway, which leads up to the Democratic Republic of Congo and there has, among other connection up to Beira in Mozambique on the Indian Ocean. Today, a distance of Lobito leads to Benguela, Benguela, the actual start but in the Atlantic port of Lobito and Benguela leads eastward past.
In the town of Benguela itself there is no commercial port, which can be reached by larger vessels.
To the south is the old airport of Benguela, also known as Aeroporto General V. Deslandes before independence ( IATA code BUG ). He is regularly served by aircraft from Luanda and other domestic cities like Lubango.
Between Benguela and Lobito 2012 newly opened international airport is Catumbela (IATA CBT), about 13 kilometers north from the city center Benguelas. It aims to establish itself as an alternative to Luanda airport.
Sons and daughters of the town
- Laura Soveral ( born 1933), Portuguese actress
- Edite Soeiro (1934-2009), Portuguese journalist
- Milo MacMahon (1940-1985), musician and singer, one half of the successful Duo Ouro Negro
- Pepetela (* 1941), writer
- António Sérgio (1950-2009), pioneering Portuguese radio host
- Pedro Malagueta ( b. 1951 ), Portuguese singer
- Rui Jordão ( b. 1952 ), Portuguese footballer
- Akwá ( b. 1977 ), football player
- Édson de Jesus Nobre ( b. 1980 ), football player
- Leila Lopes ( born 1986 ), Miss Universe 2011
- Luís Sá Silva ( * 1990), Angolan racing driver
Luís Sá Silva