Maputo's 136th Anniversary: Celebrating the 'City of Acacias'
18:11 10.11.2023 (Updated: 22:08 10.11.2023)
Located on the eastern shore of the bay of the same name, formerly known as Delagoa Bay, Maputo has a fascinating history that is linked to the colonial days. The capital was renamed after Mozambique's independence from Portugal in 1975 to erase the memory of its colonial past.
Maputo's residents marched through the streets of the capital in a united effort, singing and dancing, aided by the government's declaration of a day off on Friday.
As Mozambique's capital celebrates its birthday, having been granted city status on November 10, 136 years ago, Sputnik Africa takes a look at the city's history and how people across the country celebrate and honor the day.
The first Europeans to set foot in Maputo were the Portuguese. In 1544, Portuguese explorer and merchant Lourenço Marques and General Antonio Caldeira established a fort and trading post at Delagoa Bay on the Indian Ocean. The fort and commercial building built by the Portuguese was later named Lourenço Marques in honor of the explorer.
In the early 18th century, the Portuguese
abandoned the area due to a supposed mosquito infestation, and the Dutch arrived, buying a strip of land around Delagoa Bay, rebuilding a ruined Portuguese fort and using it as a base for the ivory trade.
The Dutch, however, did not remain in the fort for long, abandoning it in 1750 and paving the way for the Portuguese to return to their former domain.
In 1752, the Portuguese possessions in East Africa were officially declared as the colony of Mozambique, but the settlement of present-day Maputo was not established until a century later, when the original buildings were destroyed by local tribes.
Developing, Lourenço Marques settlement was granted village status on December 9, 1876, and recognized as a city by the Portuguese authorities on November 10, 1887. Ten years later, Lourenço Marques became the capital of Portuguese East Africa, replacing the island city of Mozambique.
Today's Maputo is the largest city in Mozambique, standing at the crossroads of many cultures, including indigenous, Indian, Arab and Portuguese. November 10 is a great opportunity for the inhabitants of the capital to unite in celebrations
, to cherish their cultures, to express their love for their city, also called "the city of acacias" because of the abundance of these indigenous African plants.
"The nickname 'city of acacias' is a poetic way to describe the city and its unique landscape, where acacias are a prominent presence. The city is renowned for its colonial architecture and stunning beaches," a local explained on social media, declaring his love for his city.