Portuguese colonizationexplorer founded Luanda on 25 January 1576 as "São Paulo da Assumpção de Loanda", with one hundred families of settlers and four hundred soldiers. In 1618, the Portuguese built the fortress called ''Fortaleza São Pedro da Barra'', and they subsequently built two more: (1634) and Forte de São Francisco do Penedo (1765–66). Of these, the Fortaleza de São Miguel is the best preserved. Luanda was Portugal's bridgehead from 1627, except during the Dutch rule of Luanda, from 1640 to 1648, as Fort Aardenburgh. The city served as the centre of to from circa 1550 to 1836. The slave trade was conducted mostly with the Portuguese colony of Brazil; Brazilian ships were the most numerous in the port of Luanda. This slave trade also involved local merchants and warriors who profited from the trade. During this period, no large scale territorial conquest was intended by the Portuguese; only a few minor settlements were established in the immediate hinterland of Luanda, some on the last stretch of the . In the 17th century, the became the main rivals of the Mbundu in supplying slaves to the Luanda market. In the 1750s, between 5,000 and 10,000 slaves were annually sold. By this time, Angola, a Portuguese colony, was in fact like a colony of Brazil, paradoxically another Portuguese colony. A strong degree of Brazilian influence was noted in Luanda until the in 1822. In the 19th century, still under Portuguese rule, Luanda experienced a major economic revolution. The was abolished in 1836, and in 1844, Angola's ports were opened to foreign shipping. By 1850, Luanda was one of the greatest and most developed Portuguese cities in the vast outside , full of trading companies, exporting (together with ) and , wax, , timber, ivory, cotton, coffee, and , among many other products. Maize, tobacco, , and are also produced locally. The Angolan bourgeoisie was born by this time. In 1889, Governor Brito Capelo opened the gates of an aqueduct which supplied the city with water, a formerly scarce resource, laying the foundation for major growth.
Estado NovoThroughout Portugal's dictatorship, known as the Estado Novo, Luanda grew from a town of 61,208 with 14.6% of those inhabitants being white in 1940, to a wealthy cosmopolitan major city of 475,328 in 1970 with 124,814 Europeans (26.3%) and around 50,000 mixed race inhabitants (10.5%). Like most of , the city of Luanda was not affected by the Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1974); economic growth and development in the entire region reached record highs during this period. In 1972, a report called Luanda the "Paris of Africa".
IndependenceBy the time of Angolan War of Independence, Angolan independence in 1975, Luanda was a modern city. The majority of its population was African, but it was dominated by a strong minority of white Portuguese origin. After the Carnation Revolution in Lisbon on April 25, 1974, with the advent of independence and the start of the (1975–2002), most of the white Portuguese Luandans left as refugees,Flight from Angola
21st centuryAfter 2002, with the end of the civil war and high economic growth rates fuelled by the wealth provided by the increasing oil and diamond production, major reconstruction started. Luanda has also become one of the world's most expensive cities. The central government supposedly allocates funds to all regions of the country, but the capital region receives the bulk of these funds. Since the end of the (1975–2002), stability has been widespread in the country, and major reconstruction has been going on since 2002 in those parts of the country that were damaged during the civil war. Luanda has been of major concern because its population had multiplied and had far outgrown the capacity of the city, especially because much of its infrastructure (water, electricity, roads etc.) had become obsolete and degraded. Luanda has been undergoing major road reconstruction in the 21st century, and new highways are planned to improve connections to Cacuaco, Viana, Angola, Viana, Samba, Luanda, Samba, and the new airport. Major social housing is also being constructed to house those who reside in slums, which dominate the landscape of Luanda. A large Chinese firm has been given a contract to construct the majority of replacement housing in Luanda. The Angolan minister of health recently stated poverty in Angola will be overcome by an increase in jobs and the housing of every citizen.
GeographyFile:Ilha de Luanda.JPG, Beach cabanas on Ilha de Luanda.
Human geographyLuanda is divided into two parts, the ''Baixa de Luanda'' (lower Luanda, the old city) and the ''Cidade Alta'' (upper city or the new part). The ''Baixa de Luanda'' is situated next to the port, and has narrow streets and old colonial buildings. However, new constructions have by now covered large areas beyond these traditional limits, and a number of previously independent nuclei — like Viana — were incorporated into the city.
Metropolitan LuandaUntil 2011, the former Luanda Province comprised what now forms five List of municipalities of Angola, municipalities. In 2011 the Province was enlarged by the addition of two additional municipalities transferred from Bengo Province, namely Icolo e Bengo, and Quiçama. Excluding these additions, the five municipalities comprise Greater Luanda: Two new municipalities have been created within Greater Luanda since 2017: Talatona and Kilamba-Kiaxi
DistrictsThe city of Luanda is divided in six urban districts: Ingombota, Angola Quiluanje, Maianga, Rangel, Samba and Sambizanga. In Samba and Sambizanga, more high-rise developments are to be built. The capital Luanda is growing constantly - and in addition, increasingly beyond the official city limits and even provincial boundaries. Luanda is the seat of a Catholic Church, Roman Catholic archbishop. It is also the location of most of Angola's educational institutions, including the private Catholic University of Angola and the public University of Agostinho Neto. It is also the home of the colonial Governor's Palace and the Estádio da Cidadela (the "Citadel Stadium"), Angola's main stadium, with a total seating capacity of 60,000.
ClimateLuanda has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification: ''BSh''). The climate is warm to hot but surprisingly dry, owing to the cool Benguela Current, which prevents moisture from easily condensing into rain. Frequent fog prevents temperatures from falling at night even during the completely dry months from May to October. Luanda has an annual rainfall of , but the variability is among the highest in the world, with a co-efficient of variation above 40 percent. The climate is largely influenced by the offshore Benguela current. The current gives the city a surprisingly low humidity despite its low latitude, which makes the warmer months considerably more bearable than similar cities in Western/Central Africa. Observed records since 1858 range from in 1958 to in 1916. The short rainy season in March and April depends on a northerly counter current bringing moisture to the city: it has been shown clearly that weakness in the Benguela Current can increase rainfall about sixfold compared with years when that current is strong.
DemographicsThe inhabitants of Luanda are primarily members of African ethnic groups, mainly Northern Mbundu people, Ambundu, , and . The official and the most widely used language is , although several Bantu languages are also used, chiefly Kimbundu, Umbundu, and Kikongo. The population of Luanda has grown dramatically in recent years, due in large part to war-time migration to the city, which is safe compared to the rest of the country. Luanda, however, in 2006 saw an increase in violent crime, particularly in the shanty towns that surround the colonial urban core. There is a sizable minority population of European origin, especially Portuguese people, Portuguese (about 260,000), as well as Brazilian people, Brazilians. In recent years, mainly since the mid-2000s, immigration from Portugal has increased due to greater opportunities present in Angola's booming economy. There is a sprinkling of immigrants from other African countries as well, including a small expatriate South African community. A small number of people of Luanda are of mixed race — European/Portuguese and native African. Over the last decades, a significant Chinese people, Chinese community has formed, as has a much smaller Vietnamese people, Vietnamese community.
Places of worshipAmong the places of worship, they are predominantly Christianity, Christian churches and temples: *Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Luanda (Catholic Church) *Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola (World Communion of Reformed Churches) *Evangelical Reformed Church in Angola (World Communion of Reformed Churches) *Baptist Convention of Angola (Baptist World Alliance) *Universal Church of the Kingdom of God *Assemblies of God.
CultureAs the economic and political center of Angola, Luanda is similarly the epicenter of Angolan culture. The city is home to numerous cultural institutions, including the Sindika Dokolo Foundation. The city hosts the annual Luanda International Jazz Festival, since 2009. The city is home to numerous museums, including: *Museu Nacional de Antropologia (Angola), National Museum of Anthropology *Museu Nacional de História Natural de Angola, National Museum of Natural History *Museum of the Armed Forces (Angola), Museum of the Armed Forces *National Museum of Slavery (Angola), National Museum of Slavery Other monuments in the city include: *Palácio de Ferro *Fortress of São Miguel *Fortress of São Francisco do Penedo *Church of Our Lady of Remedies, Luanda Cathedral *Igreja de Jesus (Luanda), Igreja de Jesus *Igreja da Nossa Senhora do Cabo *Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Luanda), Igreja da Nossa Senhora da Conceição *Nossa Senhora da Nazaré, Igreja da Nossa Senhora da Nazaré *Nossa Senhora do Carmo, Igreja da Nossa Senhora do Carmo *Arquivo Histórico Nacional (Angola), Arquivo Histórico Nacional
EconomyAround one-third of Angolans live in Luanda, 53% of whom live in poverty. Living conditions in Luanda are poor for most of the people, with essential services such as safe drinking water and electricity still in short supply, and severe shortcomings in traffic conditions. On the other hand, luxury constructions for the benefit of the wealthy minority are booming. Luanda is one of the world's List of most expensive cities for expatriate employees, most expensive cities for resident foreigners. New import tariffs imposed in March 2014 made Luanda even more expensive. As an example, a half-litre tub of vanilla ice-cream at the supermarket was reported to cost US$31. The higher import tariffs applied to hundreds of items, from garlic to cars. The stated aim was to try to diversify the heavily oil-dependent economy and nurture farming and industry, sectors which have remained weak. These tariffs have caused much hardship in a country where the average salary was US$260 per month in 2010, the latest year for which data was available. However, the average salary in the booming oil industry was over 20 times higher at US$5,400 per month. Manufacturing includes convenience food, processed foods, drink, beverages, textiles, cement and other building materials, plastic products, metalware, cigarettes, and shoes/clothes. Petroleum (found in nearby off-shore deposits) is refined in the city, although this facility was repeatedly damaged during the of 1975–2002. Luanda has an excellent natural harbour; the chief exports are coffee, cotton, sugar, diamonds, iron, and salt. The city also has a thriving building industry, an effect of the nationwide economic boom experienced since 2002, when political stability returned with the end of the civil war. Economic growth is largely supported by oil extraction activities, although great diversification (finance), diversification is taking place. Large investment (domestic and international), along with strong economic growth, has dramatically increased construction of all economic sectors in the city of Luanda. In 2007, the first modern shopping mall in Angola was established in the city at Belas Shopping mall.
RailwayLuanda is the starting point of the Luanda railway that goes due east to Malanje. The Angolan Civil War, civil war left the railway non-functional, but the railway has been restored up to Dondo, Angola, Dondo and Malanje.
AirportThe main airport of Luanda is Quatro de Fevereiro Airport, which is the largest in the country. A new international airport, Angola International Airport is under construction southeast of the city, a few kilometres from Viana, Angola, Viana, which was expected to be opened in 2011. However, as the Angolan government did not continue to make the payments due to the Chinese enterprise in charge of the construction, the firm suspended its work in 2010.
PortThe Port of Luanda serves as the largest port of and is one of the busiest ports in Africa. Major expansion of this port is also taking place. In 2014, a new port is being developed at Dande, about 30 km to the north.
Road transportLuanda's roads are in a poor state of repair, but are undergoing an extensive reconstruction process by the government in order to relieve traffic congestion in the city. Major road repairs can be found taking place in nearly every neighbourhood, including a major 6-lane highway connected Luanda to Viana, Angola, Viana.
Public transportPublic transit is provided by the suburban services of the Luanda Railway, by the public company Transporte Colectivo Urbano de Luanda, TCUL, and by a large fleet of privately owned collective taxis as white-blue painted minibuses called ''Candongueiro''. Candongueiros are usually Toyota Hiace vans, that are built to carry 12 people, although the candongueiros usually carry at least 15 people. They charge from 100 to 200 kwanzas per trip. They are known to disobey traffic rules, for example not stopping at signs and driving over pavements and aisles. In 2019, the Luanda Light Rail network with an estimated cost of U.S. dollar, US $3 billion was announced to begin construction in 2020.
EducationInternational schools: * Escola Portuguesa de Luanda * Colégio Português de Luanda * Colégio São Francisco de Assis * Luanda International School * English School Community of Luanda
Higher educationUniversities: * Agostinho Neto University * Lusíada University * Catholic University of Angola * Technical University of Angola * Methodist University of Angola * Private University of Angola * Jean Piaget University of Angola * Universidade Mandume ya Ndemufayo, Mandume ya Ndemufayo University * Universidade Indepedente de Angola
SportsLuanda's Pavilhão Multiusos do Kilamba hosted games for Angola's national basketball team on many occasions. In 2013 Luanda together with Namibe, today's Moçâmedes, hosted the 2013 FIRS Men's Roller Hockey World Cup, the first time that a World Cup of roller hockey (quad), roller hockey was held in Africa. The city is home to the Desportivo do Bengo football club.
Twin towns – Sister citiesLuanda is Twin towns and sister cities, twinned with: * Houston, United States * São Paulo, Lei Municipal de São Paulo 14471 de 2007