Praia is the capital and largest city of Cape Verde, an island nation in the Atlantic Ocean west of Senegal. It lies on the southern coast of Santiago island in the Sotavento Islands group. It is the island’s ferry port and is home to one of the nation’s four international airports. The city centre is known as Platô due to its location on a small plateau.
History of the City
The town of Praia de Santa Maria appeared in 1615 when it took the place of the previous settlement on the plateau, which was originally favored because the nearby port (Santa Maria beach) offered good conditions for ships.
Initially used as a clandestine, the settlement gradually acquired the characteristics of a town after much of the population from Ribeira Grande fled there during its decline in the midst of frequent pirate attacks. The official transfer of capital status from Ribeira Grande to Praia took place in 1770.
In the history of Cape Verde there have been successive proposals for transferring the capital elsewhere, the most recent being Mindelo in the late 19th century. However, the successive Portuguese administrations never showed an interest in such proposals. Through an official decree in 1858, when its status was changed from town to city, Praia secured its status as the capital of Cape Verde, concentrating political, religious and economic roles.
Praia City covers an area of 85 km² with an estimated population of over 138,803people.
The city is served with various means of transport which include;small busses to different parts of the town, ferry since the area is on an island and air transport served by international near Espargos
Attractions in Praia
The following are major tourist attractions of Praia City
- The Plateau
- Jardim Do Vinho
- Oasis Atlantico Praiam
- Pestana Tropico Hotel
- Praia Market