Sunday, March 06, 2011

Next Time You're In Luanda...

1. Check out the Slavery Museum, located on Morro da Cruz (Cross Hill) Island; it contains a 17th century chapel where slaves were baptized before being put on slave ships bound for America... The premises belonged to the slave-trading Matoso family, who exported hundreds of thousands of souls until 1836, when Portugal's Queen Maria banned the trade from that country's colonies...

2. Shrouded in mystery, Luanda's Iron Palace may have been designed by Gustave Eiffel, pre-built in France in the 1890s and destined for Madagascar... until the ship carrying it hit the Benguela currents off Angola's Skeleton Coast. Once an art center, then in disrepair for decades, this stunning structure is being restore by Brazil's construction companies, with many iron balustrades and floor tiles individually renovated in Rio! When finished, it may house a new diamond museum.

3. QuiƧama (Kissama) National Game Park, over twice the size of Rhode Island, is only 50 miles from Luanda, is finally repopulated from generous neighboring countries - wide-scale poaching during Angola's 27 year (1975-2002) civil war had decimated the local fauna.

4. Other Pretty Buildings in Luanda..

include the Angolan National Bank, Church of Our Lady of Remedies, and Church of Our Lady of Nazareth.. The middle photo reminds me of Brazilian colonial churches I saw in Salvador and Ouro Preto...

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