Praia (from portuguese beach ) is the capital of the Republic of Cape Verde and is located on the island of Santiago.
Praia has around 140 000 inhabitants, about 20 years ago still about 70 000 Thus, the population has almost doubled within two decades. This makes it the largest city in the country. It is the economic center of the islands and has a harbor from which are shipped from coffee, sugar cane and tropical fruits and has a certain importance as a way station for passing ships. Praia also has fishing industry. Nearby there are beaches and Praia International Airport.
Praia is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santiago de Cabo Verde.
On the rocky plateau on which now stands the historic center praias, 1615 the village of Santa Maria was established. At the beach (Portuguese: praia ), which is today known as Gamboa and located immediately below the plateau, put on increasingly vessels so as not to have the port charges of Ribeira Grande, the then capital of Cape Verde to pay. With the economic decline of Ribeira Grandes the importance and the inhabitants of Santa Maria increased, which was officially declared in 1770 to the main town and administrative headquarters of the Cape Verde Islands. As of the end of the 18th century, the plateau was built in colonial style with straight streets, where they started to today's Praca Alexandre de Albuquerque in the south. The rights of a city ( cidade ) were the place awarded in 1858, until then he was known as Vila, literally translated, means small town '. At the beginning of the 1920s was one of Praia 21 000 inhabitants. After the power station was completed in 1927 as the first of Cape Verde in Praia, the city received an electric street lights.
- A national museum is not present in the Cape Verde Islands. Worth visiting but is housed in an old mansion in the historic city and was founded in 1997 Etnográfico Museu da Praia.
- One of the oldest remaining buildings in Praia is the built in 1826 Jaime Mota Barracks Quartel in the southeast of the old town, in front of some cannons can still be seen.
- At the very Portuguese style with a gazebo and flower beds landscaped main square, the Town Hall ( Cámara Municipal) and the main church of the city are worth seeing.
Sons and daughters of the town
- Manuel dos Santos ( born 1974 ), French - Cape Verdean footballer
- Vargas Fernandes ( born 1977 ), Cape Verde footballer
- Gelson Fernandes ( born 1986 ), Swiss football player
- Nani ( born 1986 ), Portuguese footballer