Hogbonu, Ajase Ipo
|City and commune|
Ouando Market, Porto-Novo
|Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.|
|• Mayor||Emmanuel ZOSSOU|
|• City and commune||110 km2 (40 sq mi)|
|• Metro||110 km2 (40 sq mi)|
|Elevation||38 m (125 ft)|
|• City and commune||267,191|
|• Density||2,400/km2 (6,300/sq mi)|
Porto-Novo (also known as Hogbonou and Adjacé) is the official capital of the West African nation of Benin, and was the capital of French Dahomey. The commune covers an area of 110 square kilometres (42 sq mi) and as of 2002 had a population of 223,552 people.
The capital's name Porto-Novo is of Portuguese origin, meaning "New Port". It was originally developed as a port for the slave trade, an important part of many European Empires at the time including the Portuguese Empire.
Porto-Novo is a port on an inlet of the Gulf of Guinea, in the southeastern portion of the country. It is Benin's second-largest city, and although Porto-Novo is the official capital, where the national legislature sits, the larger city of Cotonou is the seat of government, where most of the government buildings are situated and government departments operate. The region around Porto-Novo produces palm oil, cotton and kapok. Petroleum was discovered off the coast of the city in the 1990s, and has become an important export.
Porto-Novo was once a tributary of the Yoruba kingdom of Oyo and there continues to be a sizable Yoruba community in Porto Novo today. The city was originally called Hogbonou and renamed by the Portuguese in the 16th century to Porto Novo (of Portuguese origin), meaning "New Port." It was originally developed as a port for the slave trade. In 1861, the British, who were active in nearby Nigeria, bombarded the city, which persuaded the Kingdom of Porto-Novo to accept French protection in 1863. The neighbouring Kingdom of Dahomey objected to French involvement in the region and war broke out between the two states. In 1883, Porto-Novo was incorporated into the French "colony of Dahomey and its dependencies." In 1900, it became Dahomey's capital city.
The kings of Porto-Novo continued to rule in the city, both officially and unofficially, until the death of the last king, Alohinto Gbeffa, in 1976. From 1908, the king held the title of Chef supérieur.
Porto Novo had an estimated population of 234,168 in 2005. The population of the city comprises mostly of Yoruba and Ogu people (also Egun), as well as communities from other parts of the country, and from neighboring Nigeria.
- 1979: 133,168 (census)
- 1992: 179,138 (census)
- 2000: 210,400 (estimate)
- 2002: 223,552 (estimate)
- 2005: 234,168 (estimate)
Geography and climate
|Climate data for Porto Novo|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||27
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||23
- The Porto Novo Museum of Ethnography contains a large collection of Yoruba masks, as well as items on the history of the city and of Benin.
- King Toffa's Palace (also known as the Musée Honmé and the Royal Palace), now a museum, shows what life was like for African royalty. The palace and the surrounding district was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on October 31, 1996 in the Cultural category.
- Jardin Place Jean Bayol is a large plaza which contains a statue of the first King of Porto-Novo.
- The da Silva Museum is a museum of Benin history. It shows what life was like for the returning Afro-Brazilians
- The palais de Gouverneur (governor's palace) is the home of the national legislature.
Other sites of interest include a Brazilian-style mosque, and the Institute of Higher Studies of Benin. The Stade Municipale and the Stade Charles de Gaulle are the largest football stadiums in the city.
Adjogan music is endemic to Porto-Novo. The style of music is played on an alounloun, a stick with metallic rings attached which jingle in time with the beating of the stick. The alounloun is said to descend from the staff of office of King Te-Agdanlin. The music is played to honor the King and his ministers. The music is also played in the city's Roman Catholic churches, but the royal bird crest has been replaced with a cross.
- Anicet Adjamossi, footballer, was born here in 1985
- Kamarou Fassassi, politician was born here.
- Samuel Oshoffa who founded the Celestial Church of Christ was born here in 1905.
- Paulin Soumanou Vieyra, director and author
- Romuald Hazoume, artist
In 2016, Porto-Novo is to be served by an extension of the Bénirail train system.
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- "Communes of Benin". Statoids. Retrieved January 5, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Erica Kraus; Felicie Reid (2010). Benin (Other Places Travel Guide). Other Places Publishing. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-982-2619-10. Retrieved March 9, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Mathurin C. Houngnikpo; Samuel Decalo (2013). Historical Dictionary of Benin (African Historical Dictionaries). Rowman & Littlefield. p. 297. ISBN 978-0-81087-17-17. Retrieved March 9, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Fiona McLaughlin (2011). Languages of Urban West Africa. ISBN 978-1-4411-5-81-30. Retrieved March 9, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Hargreaves, John (1963). Prelude to the Partition of West Africa. London: MacMilland. pp. 59–60. Retrieved 14 March 2015 – via Questia. Unknown parameter
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- "Weatherbase". Weatherbase. Retrieved December 13, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- La ville de Porto-Novo : quartiers anciens et Palais Royal - UNESCO World Heritage Centre
- Adjamossi profile, (in French)
- Crumbly, Deidre Helen (2008). Spirit, Structure, and Flesh: Gendered Experiences in African Instituted Churches Among the Yoruba of Nigeria p. 54 on. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 182. ISBN 978-0-299-22910-8. Retrieved February 2010. Check date values in:
- Sappho Charney (1996). "Porto Novo (Oueme, Benin)". In Noelle Watson (ed.). International Dictionary of Historic Places: Middle East and Africa. UK: Routledge. p. 588+. ISBN 1884964036.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for [[Wikivoyage:Porto-Novo#Lua error in Module:Wikidata at line 863: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).|Porto-Novo]].|