Infobox Settlement
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pushpin_label_position =bottom
pushpin_map_caption =Location in Angola
subdivision_type = Country
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subdivision_type1 = Admin. division
subdivision_name1 = Benguela Province
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Benguela (São Felipe de Benguela, formerly spelled "Benguella") is a city in western Angola, south of Luanda, and capital of Benguela Province. It lies on a bay of the same name, in 12° 33’ S., 13° 25’ E.

Benguela was founded in 1617 by the Portuguese under Manuel Cerveira Pereira, 8th Governor of Angola (1604-1607). It was long the centre of an important trade, especially in slaves to Brazil and Cuba. Ships anchor about a mile off the shore, in 4 to 6 fathoms (7 to 11 m) and transfer loads to smaller boats which use five or six jetties in the town. However the nearby deep-water sheltered harbour of Lobito is a much larger port. Besides the churches of S. Felipe and S. Antonio, the hospital, and the fortress, there are (as of 1911) only a few stone-built houses. A short way beyond Benguela is Baía Farta, where salt is manufactured and sulphur excavated. Close to Baia Farta is the most beautiful beach of Baia Azul. Benguela is Angola's second most famous city and self-appointed cultural capital is a charming muddle of low-rise apartment blocks and sputtering motorcycles that weave deftly between Benguela's famous crimson acacia trees.

The Benguela Railway was built in the early 20th century to connect the city and Lobito to the interior, and it achieved great success when linked to the Copperbelt of Katanga, DR Congo and Zambia. Due to the civil war in Angola, which lasted more than 20 years, up to 2001, this railway is not operating any more. Only the short distance of 30 km between Benguela and Lobito remained operational. In the last two years, rehabilitation of the railway between Benguela and Huambo commenced.

In 1983 Benguela had a population of 155,000. During the civil war the city of Benguela increased its population due to refugees from the countryside. While the colonial part of the city consists of relatively good quality houses, most of the refugees are living today in slum areas.


*Benguela Railway.
*Airport: ICAO code FNBG (by SonAir [] ).


Benguela is also referenced in a game called Battlecity, below 'Andorra-la-vella' and above 'Huambo'.


External links


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