Calabar is a port city in Nigeria with 319 858 inhabitants and is the capital of the state of Cross River. It lies on the river Calabar. She has a university.
The settlements of the Efik in the Calabar River, from which emerged the modern city of Calabar, were started in the 15th century by Portuguese sailors, who were advancing along the West African coast to find the sea route to India. Because of the favorable natural conditions - the Calabar Delta offered good anchorages - Calabar was a major trading port in transkontinentialen ship traffic in the 16th century. The Europeans supplied here with food and fresh water.
In the 17th century, the slave trade became the main source of income of the residents of Calabar. The Efik people bought from the inland of today's Nigeria, which they exchanged for European goods. Since the late 17th century Calabar was the largest slave trading center in Africa. An estimated one- quarter to one- third of Africans came to America spent about Calabar. The slave trade was different than in other ports controlled here by the locals. Until the mid-19th century, the Efik prevented the establishment of European bases on the Calabar River. In the vicinity of the present town rivaled until the mid-18th century into three called by the Europeans Creek Town, Old Town and New Town cities for power and for supremacy in the trade with the Europeans. Their kings led multiple wars against each other. The kings and leading families of the three cities took on a cultural level much of its European trading partners. They lived in wooden houses, European style, wore European clothes and never let furnishings, tools and weapons from Europe. Many members of the elite speak English. Some had even visited schools in England. Their traditional religion remained the Efik faithful until the mid 19th century.
After the abolition of the slave trade Calabar retained its importance as a port. It now mainly products of the region's highly developed plantation agriculture were carried out. 1846 established the Scottish Presbyterians a mission station in Calabar. In the following decades came under their influence many Efik converted to Christianity. When the British colonial administration was established in the south of Nigeria in the 80s of the 19th century, Calabar was made the seat of the Governor of the Niger Coast Protectorate. But even the king of the Efik resided still in the city. As an old thriving trading center and administrative center of Calabar was a major center for the development of modern Nigeria. Here the first hospital and the first post office in the country were opened for example.