Brazzaville (French pronunciation: [bʁazavil]) is the capital
and largest city of the
Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo and is on the north side
of the Congo River, opposite Kinshasa. Its population is estimated to
exceed 1.8 million. Over a third of the population of the Republic of
Congo lives in the capital, and it is home to 40% of non-agricultural
employment. It is also a financial and administrative capital.
6 Buildings and institutions
10 Notable people
11 Twin towns and sister cities
12 See also
16 External links
Kinshasa seen from Brazzaville. The two capitals are separated by the
Brazzaville from space
Brazzaville lies on a large area to the north of the Congo River, near
the Pool Malebo. Mbamu, a large island within the Pool, is part of the
Republic of Congo's territory.
Brazzaville is 506 kilometres (314 miles) inland from the Atlantic
Ocean and approximately 474 kilometres (295 miles) south of the
equator. The city is a commune that is separated from the other
regions of the republic; it is surrounded by the Pool Department.
Around the city are large plains. The town is relatively flat, and
situated at an altitude of 317 metres (1,040 feet).
To distinguish between the two African countries with "Congo" in their
Republic of the Congo
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 Zaïre, the capital
of which is Kinshasa).
Kinshasa lies on the southern bank of the
Congo, directly across from Brazzaville. This is the only place in the
world where two national capital cities are on opposite banks of a
river, within sight of each other. Since the mid-19th century the
two cities have been rivals in trade, sports and power. There have
been proposals to connect the two capitals by a Brazzaville–Kinshasa
Bridge. Studies reveal the anticipated cost is around 1.65 billion
USD, but it is not expected that the project will be undertaken in the
near or even distant future.
See also: Timeline of Brazzaville
French Colonial Soldiers at drill in
Brazzaville in 1899
Brazzaville was founded by the
French colonial empire
French colonial empire upon an existing
Bateke settlement called Ncuna, as part of the Scramble for
Africa. The Italian-born explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza,
granted French citizenship in 1874, officially founded the settlement
which commemorates his name on 10 September 1880. The local King,
Makoko of the Téké, signed a treaty of protection with de Brazza
which subjugated his lands to the French Empire. From October 1880
until May 1882 a small squad of troops led by Senegalese Sergeant
Malamine Camara occupied the site, preventing the land from falling
into Belgian hands. The first large scale building work of the city
only began four years later in order as a competitor with
Léopoldville (now Kinshasa) which Belgian colonists built on the
other side of the river.
Berlin Conference of 1884 placed French control over the area on
an official footing. The city became the capital of the French Congo
in 1904. It then continued as capital with the creation of French
Equatorial Africa, a federation founded in 1910, of French colonial
states which encompassed Gabon, the
Central African Republic
Central African Republic and Chad
until 1960. 1910–1915 saw the construction of major municipal
buildings, including a courthouse and headquarters for the Banque de
l'AEF and Institut Pasteur. In 1934 the
Congo-Océan railway came
into service, linking
Brazzaville with the Atlantic port of
Pointe-Noire. Construction of the railway resulted in the death of
over 17,000 Africans, which led to a revolt in 1928.
Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza
Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza Mausoleum
During World War II
Brazzaville and the rest of French Equatorial
Africa remained beyond the control of Vichy France; the city served as
the capital of
France Libre from 1940–1943. In 1944, Brazzaville
hosted a meeting of the
French resistance forces and representatives
of France's African colonies. The resulting
represented an attempt to redefine the relationship between
its African colonies.
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 surrounding Pool
Department and divided into nine "arrondissements (boroughs).
The city has frequently been a staging ground for wars, including
conflicts between rebel and government forces and between forces of
the Republic of Congo, the Democratic
Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo (DCR), and
Angola. It was also the scene of bloody civil wars throughout the
1990s which resulted in thousands of civilian deaths and which forced
hundreds of thousands of refugees to flee the city. More recently
thousands of people leaving the DRC have found their way to
Brazzaville; the local United Nations force and the DRC government
have accused the city of deporting thousands of these refugees.
In April 2016 fighting occurred between police and local militia
units, with at least 18 people killed.
Housing in the Bacongo arrondisement.
As of the 2007 census, it had a population of 1.37 million. The
projection of the CNSEE (national statistics centre) shows an increase
to 1.7 million by 2015, but the projection was made before 2007 and
based on a lower estimate of the population (1.26 million) than
recorded in the census. The United Nations Population Division
estimate for 2014 is 1.83 million. The populous city of
than 10 million inhabitants in 2014), capital of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo, lies across the
Congo River from Brazzaville.
Together with Kinshasa, the combined conurbation of
Brazzaville has thus about 12 million inhabitants (although
significant political and infrastructure challenges prevent the two
cities from functioning with any meaningful connection).
See also: List of mayors of Brazzaville
Brazzaville, like Pointe-Noire, has both the status of a commune
(municipality) and a department. It is thus governed by a municipal
council and a departmental council. The mayor is the president of the
The city is divided into nine arrondissements (boroughs):
The location of
Brazzaville near the pool of the
Congo River enabled
it to grow as an industrial, trading and port settlement, in part due
to the accumulation of raw materials extracted during the colonial
period. Industries present in
Brazzaville include machine shops,
textiles, tanning, and manufacturing. As a key port on the Congo
River, the city takes deliveries of raw materials, such as rubber,
wood and agricultural products. From here they are generally sent
Pointe-Noire for export.
As the capital city of the Republic of Congo, many companies,
government organizations and NGOs have regional offices in the city.
World Health Organization
World Health Organization has its regional office for Africa
located in Brazzaville. Companies headquartered in Brazzaville
include Equatorial Congo Airlines and the mobile operator Warid
Buildings and institutions
The Sacred Heart Cathedral in 1926
Notable buildings in the city include the Sacred Heart Cathedral, St
Anne's Basilica built in 1949 by Roger Erell, and known for its green
tiled roof; Erell also designed a house in the city for Charles de
Gaulle. Other buildings include the Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza
Nabemba Tower and the Congressional Palace. Other
features include the Marien Ngouabi Mausoleum,
Brazzaville Zoo and the
Poto-Poto School of Painting. The United States Embassy for the
Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo is also in Brazzaville, as is the Dutch Honorary
World Health Organization
World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa is based in
Brazzaville on a vast campus at the Cité du Djoué.
Marien Ngouabi University is a public university in
Brazzaville. The university was founded in December, 1971 and has
approximately 26,000 students.
Lycée Français Saint-Exupéry de Brazzaville
Lycée Français Saint-Exupéry de Brazzaville (French)
American International School of Brazzaville
Brazzaville, much like neighboring Kinshasa, features a tropical wet
and dry climate. Its wet season, which runs from October–May, is
longer than its dry season, which covers the remaining months.
Brazzaville's driest months, July and August, see on average no
significant precipitation. Since
Brazzaville is south of the equator,
its dry season begins at around its "winter" solstice, which is the
month of June. The city experiences relatively consistent temperatures
throughout the course of the year.
Climate data for
Brazzaville (Maya-Maya Airport) 1961–1990, extremes
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Deutscher Wetterdienst (humidity, 1951–1990)[a]
Source #2: Meteo Climat (record highs and lows)
Taxis in Brazzaville
The city is home to Maya-Maya Airport, which lies in the centre of the
city and which has regular flights to
Pointe-Noire as well as
international destinations in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. A
flight operates twice weekly between
Brazzaville and Kinshasa, but the
flight time is only five minutes.
Congo-Ocean Railway has a station in the city and in 2014 was
La Gazelle train
La Gazelle train service every other day to Pointe-Noire
and intermediate destinations.
The city is an important river port, with ferries sailing to Kinshasa
Bangui via Impfondo. Ferries and fast private boats serve as
the primary means of connection between
Kinshasa and Brazzaville.
Livingstone Falls lie on the outskirts of the city, where the
Djoué River meets the Congo, rendering river transport to the coast
impossible, qualifying the railway as a portage railway.
Although there is no organised public transport system, privately
owned buses are available in the capital.
Taxis are available on every street and are easily recognized, being
painted with a green body and white top, and the fare for a short trip
is CF700. About twenty percent of the vehicles in
taxis. There are also collective taxis that drive certain routes and
Gaitana, Ukrainian singer who lived in
Brazzaville for five years.
Serge Ibaka, professional basketball player born in Brazzaville.
Cyril Kongo, a French painter and graffiti artist, lived in
Brazzaville in the 80s.
Twin towns and sister cities
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
^ Station ID for Brazzaville/ Maya–Maya is 64450 Use this station ID
to locate the sunshine duration
^ a b "Répartition de la population par Départements et Communes en
1984 et projetée de 2000 à 2015" (in French). Centre National de la
Statistique et des Études Économiques (CNSEE), Republic of the
Congo. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
^ a b "Monographie de la Ville de Kinshasa" (in French). Unité de
Pilotage du Processus d'Elaboration et de mise œuvre de la Stratégie
pour la Réduction de la Pauvreté (UPPE-SRP). Archived from the
original (SWF) on 9 February 2007. Retrieved 19 January 2007.
^ a b c d e f "Face-off over the Congo: the long rivalry between
Kinshasa and Brazzaville". Retrieved July 15, 2017.
^ a b c d Pakenham, Thomas (1991). The Scramble for Africa. Abacus.
^ a b c d Thomas, Dominic (2005). Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century
African History. Routledge.
^ a b Jean-Jacques Youlou & Scholastique Dianzinga, "Une capitale
dans l'histoire"; Chapter 1 in Ziavoula (2006).
Republic of Congo
Republic of Congo profile". 11 April 2017 – via
^ "Deportation comments anger Congo", Independent Online (SAPA-AFP),
28 May 2014.
^ James Butty, "DRC Threatens Legal Action over Deportations from
Congo-Brazzaville", VOA News, 27 May 2014.
^ "Heavy gunfire in Congo-
Brazzaville capital as police battle
militia". The Guardian. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
^ Brazzaville.cg (site officiel de la commune de Brazzaville),
"L'administration municipale"; accessed 16 July 2017.
^ "Les arrondissements". Brazzaville.cg (in French). Commune de
Brazzaville, Congo. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
^ "Regional Office for Africa".
^ "ECAir Fleet Details and History". www.planespotters.net. Retrieved
^ "Company Overview of
Warid Congo S.A."
^ a b "Quick Facts". Retrieved July 15, 2017.
^ "Klimatafel von
Brazzaville (Flugh.) / Kongo" (PDF). Baseline
climate means (1961–1990) from stations all over the world (in
German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
^ "Station 64450 Brazzaville/ Maya–Maya". Global station data
1961–1990—Sunshine Duration. Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 24
^ "Station Brazzaville" (in French). Meteo Climat. Retrieved 24
^ Planet, Lonely. "
La Gazelle train
La Gazelle train
Brazzaville to Pointe
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 January 2010.
^ "Coopération". Brazzaville.cg (in French). Commune de Brazzaville,
Congo. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
Ziavoula, Robert Edmond, ed. (2006). Brazzaville, une ville à
reconstruire. Paris: Karthala. ISBN 2-84586-825-1.
See also: Bibliography of the history of Brazzaville
Chavannes, Charles de. (1929) "Le Sergent Sénégalais Malamine."
Annales de l'Académie des Sciences Coloniales, vol. 3:159–187.
Petringa, Maria. (2006) Brazza, A Life for Africa (2006)
Tiepolo, M. (1996) "City Profile: Brazzaville" in Cities v. 13,
Brisset-Guibert, Hervé (2007)
Brazzaville petit guide historique, in
the site www.presidence.cg ("palais presidentiel")
Cultural reference: In the final scene of the 1942 film, Casablanca,
it is to
Brazzaville that Captain Renault (Claude Rains) suggests he
and Rick (Humphrey Bogart) might escape to together for "vacation"
and, as Rick counters, "the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Brazzaville.
BRAKIN, the fusion city of
Brazzaville and Kinshasa, urban analysis
seminar with vectorised maps of the agglomeration by TU Darmstadt,
Maria Petringa's 1997 biographical article on Savorgnan de Brazza,
describing events leading to the founding of Brazzaville
Brazzaville travel guide from Wikivoyage
Departments of the Republic of the Congo
Capitals of Africa
Dependent territories and states with limited recognition are in
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Bangui, Central African Republic
Brazzaville, Rep. of the Congo
El Aaiún(claimed)/Tifariti(factual), Sahrawi Arab Democratic
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Jamestown, St Helena, Ascension & Tristan da Cunha2
Juba, South Sudan
Kinshasa, D.R. Congo
Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Lobamba (legislative), Swaziland
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Port Louis, Mauritius
Praia, Cape Verde
Cape Town (legislative)
Bloemfontein (judicial), South Africa
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas, Canary Islands5
São Tomé and Príncipe
Abidjan (economic), Ivory Coast
1 An unrecognised or partially-recognised nation
2 British Overseas Territory
Overseas region of France
4 Autonomous region of Portugal
5 Autonomous community of Spain
All-Africa Games host cities