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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Libreville
Libreville is located in Gabon
Libreville
Location in Gabon
Coordinates: 0°23′24″N 9°27′0″E / 0.39°N 9.45°E / 0.39; 9.45
Capital district Libreville
Government
 - Mayor Jean-François Ntoutoume Emane
Population (2005)
 - Total 578,156

Libreville (population 578,156 January 1, 2005) is the capital and largest city of Gabon. The city is a port on the Komo River, near the Gulf of Guinea, and a trade center for a timber region.

Contents

History

The area was inhabited by the Mpongwé tribe long before the French acquired the land in 1839. In 1846, L'Elizia, a Brazilian ship carrying slaves for sale, was captured by the French navy near Loango. The slaves were freed and founded Libreville (French for "Freetown") in 1848. It was the chief port of French Equatorial Africa from 1934 to 1946 and was the central focus of the Battle of Gabon in 1940.

Libreville was named in imitation of Freetown and grew only slowly as a trading post and a minor administrative centre to a population of 32,000 on independence in 1960. It only received its first bank branch when Bank of West Africa (BAO) opened a branch in 1930. Since independence, the city has grown rapidly and now houses nearly half the national population.

Geography

From north to south, major districts of the city are the residential area Batterie IV, Quartier Louis (known for its nightlife), Mont-Bouët and Nombakélé (busy commercial areas), Glass (the first European settlement in Gabon), Oloumi (a major industrial area) and Lalala, a residential area. The city’s port and train station on the Trans-Gabon Railway line to Franceville lie in Owendo, south of the main built-up area. Inland from these districts lie poorer residential areas.

Climate

Climate data for Libreville
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 34
(93)
34
(93)
36
(97)
35
(95)
37
(99)
35
(95)
33
(91)
33
(91)
33
(91)
33
(91)
35
(95)
33
(91)
37
(99)
Average high °C (°F) 31
(88)
31
(88)
32
(90)
32
(90)
31
(88)
29
(84)
28
(82)
29
(84)
29
(84)
30
(86)
30
(86)
31
(88)
30
(86)
Average low °C (°F) 23
(73)
22
(72)
23
(73)
23
(73)
22
(72)
21
(70)
20
(68)
21
(70)
22
(72)
22
(72)
22
(72)
22
(72)
22
(72)
Record low °C (°F) 17
(63)
17
(63)
17
(63)
18
(64)
18
(64)
17
(63)
17
(63)
17
(63)
19
(66)
19
(66)
19
(66)
19
(66)
17
(63)
Precipitation mm (inches) 249
(9.8)
236
(9.29)
335
(13.19)
340
(13.39)
244
(9.61)
13
(0.51)
3
(0.12)
18
(0.71)
104
(4.09)
345
(13.58)
373
(14.69)
249
(9.8)
2,509
(98.78)
Source: BBC Weather [1] 2009-08-19

Transport

Libreville International Airport is the largest airport in Gabon and is located around 11 kilometers (7 mi) north of the city.

Culture and education

The Embassy of the United States in Libreville

Sights in Libreville include the National Museum of Arts and Traditions, the French cultural centre, St Marie’s Cathedral, the carved wood church of St Michael, Nkembo, the Arboretum de Sibang and two cultural villages. Libreville's main market lies in Mont-Bouët. Gabon's school of administration and school of law are in Libreville. Libreville also hosts the Omar Bongo University (est. 1970), various research institutes and a library. Alongside the Komo estuary is the Pongara National Park of 929 km2. Behind Cap Esterias is Akanda National Park, famed for its large congregations of migrating waterbirds.

The city is served by Libreville Hospital.

Languages

Libreville is, with Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire[2], one of two African cities where French is becoming a true native language[3], with some local features.

Economy

The city is home to a shipbuilding industry, brewing industry and sawmills. The city exports raw materials such as wood, rubber and cocoa from the city's main port, and the deepwater port at Owendo.[citation needed]

Gabon Airlines has its headquarters in Libreville.[4] Prior to their dissolutions, both Air Gabon and Gabon Express were headquartered on the grounds of Libreville International Airport.[5][6]

Notable residents

References

  1. ^ "Average Conditions Libreville, Gabon". BBC Weather. http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_guides/results.shtml?tt=TT000220. Retrieved August 19 2009. 
  2. ^ (French) Le français à Abidjan : Pour une approche syntaxique du non-standard by Katja Ploog, CNRS Editions, Paris, 2002.
  3. ^ (French) "De plus, le français est également devenu la langue maternelle de plus de 30 % des Librevillois et il est de plus en plus perçu comme une langue gabonaise."
  4. ^ Gabon Airlines: Mentions légales Retrieved 8 October 2009
  5. ^ World Airline Directory. Flight International. 16-22 March 2004. "64"
  6. ^ World Airline Directory. Flight International. March 23-29 2004. 78
  7. ^ Football Database: Daniel Cousin Retrieved on 23 December 2009

External links

Coordinates: 0°23′24″N 9°27′16″E / 0.3901°N 9.4544°E / 0.3901; 9.4544

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Africa : Central Africa : Gabon : Libreville

Libreville is the largest city in and capital of Gabon.

Get in

You can get to Libreville by plane with Lufthansa, Air France, Gabon Airlines and Air Gabon International (the brand new -private- Air Gabon). Interair and SAA flies direct to/from Johannesburg. On a smaller budget, Royal Air Maroc will do the trick (this includes a change of the aircraft in Casablanca, if you come from Europe or America - this can take up to 8 hrs waiting time, but may save you 300 euros. Cameroon Airlines has ceased to exist.

Get around

The best way to get around in Libreville if you don't have a car are taxis. For a trip from point A to B (taxis usually go back and forth on one determined route) the fare is negociated with the driver depending on the distance. Fares will double after 21 hrs. From or to the airport 2000 FCFA, or 4000 after 21 hrs. (1000 FCFA = 1.5 euros, 10.000 FCFA = 15 euros). Taxis are less expensive when shared or for short distances (100 to 500 FCFA). You can usually pay 1000 FCFA in the day or 2000 FCFA to not share the taxi and travel a substancial distance (15-minute drive). The cars are not very secure (broken doors, no seatbelts), but if you insist on careful driving, the chauffers will try to oblige. Mini-buses (similar to taxis) are also available for longer routes. Or if you can afford it, you can rent a car with AVIS. There are no 4x4 cars to rent. You will not be allowed to leave the town by rented car.

See

Libreville's greatest asset is, probably, the seafront (bord de mer) where people gather daily to relax by the Atlantic Ocean. All along the seafront you will find some Gabonese sculptures (some are 20 feet tall!) looking over the beach. You could also go in Nzeng-ayong to see the Arboretum de Sybang which is a huge tree sanctuary inside Libreville which groups thousands of local species. (But make sure in advance that somebody will be there to open the gate. Once you are inside apply a huge amount of anti mosquito cream on your skin before entering the woods. The people there will remind you - they are very helpful) The city centre is also a nice area to visit, in which you are able to enjoy the nearby ocean breeze.

Do

Libreville is a place where people take things slowly. Don't worry about time and plans, and enjoy the city. There is not an exhaustive list of things to do. It is a true multicultural town; its people are very welcoming and will show you the true aspects of the city. The Majestic and Centre Culturel Francais (next to Mbolo, the main supermarket) provide both cinema and game rooms; also occasional expositions and concerts. If you'd like to relax on a nice deserted beach, you could go to the Cap Esterias or to Cap Santa Clara, about 30 minutes by car from Libreville. The latter place can be reached by car during the dry season. During the rainy seasons one would need a real 4x4 to get there. The Pointe Denis is another popular spot. It is a peninsula across the bay, close to Libreville. The boat trip takes 25 minutes and cost somewhat between 15 and 20 euros (10 000 and 15000 fcfa) from the Michel Marine(Navette "Orangina") or Port Mole, Navettes "Beaufort", "Castel" and "Internet". The beach there is beautiful, with a stunning view of Libreville' s seafront.

Buy

The city centre is great for shopping, yet surprisingly expensive. Mbolo is the main supermarket, and around the Bord De Mer there are several good shops. Keep in mind that between noon and 3 pm everything except the biggest supermarket is closed. In the same area, you'll find the Marche Artisanal where Senegalese merchants sell African instruments, jewelery, clothes, paintings, etc. If you want to see the authentic African side of Libreville, you should go to the gigantic Marche Mont-Bouet. There are bargains a-plenty - but keep an eye on your valuables.

Eat

Eating at any good restaurant ends up costing about $24+ for the meal and drinks. Not cheap but it is usually worth it! There are some high end restaurants that can be compared to the best restaurants in Western metropoles. The standard of quality in cheaper restaurants is high. Try one of the three Papa Union restaurants. A great place to have a meal is the restaurant/hotel Excellence in the quartier Ancien Sobraga. It is run by a Belgium guy, and they serve Python a la sauce tomate. Delicious. The main road leading up into the Louis area (from the seafront near Jeanne Eboli Hospital) has a good range of restaurants and clubs. Costa Sylvia Pizzeria makes a very nice Neptune pizza. The Chinese restaurant opposite Le Warhol's is nice too. The good thing about Libreville is that one can salad in the restaurants, and there is no need to be afraid of the ice cubes in your drink. The tap water is absolutely ok. Do not try that in any other African city. L'Emir has very good Lebanese food and the owners are friendly.

The local beers, Regab, Beaufort and Castel are Ok, if you are not too demanding. The local lemonade, Djino, is a real find. It is comparable to Orangina, maybe better. There is no problem to get any imported goods (wine/spirits) if you are prepared to pay.

  • Intercontinental. Tolerable, although not fabulous. Short trip to/from airport. Beers on the pool deck are not expensive compared with most places. They have a pizza oven near the poolside.
  • Tropicana. Very good location right at the beach and very close to the airport - BUT the rooms are very filthy and smelly. Mattresses are 'rubbish dump' material, bedding is nearly see-through with holes, towels - if available - are rags. All single rooms are behind a shebeen with plenty of noise until very late. At 38Euro per night absolutely unacceptable. Food is good and Sunday lunch buffet recommendable.
  • Meridian. Is at the far end of town if you come from the airport. Allow for about an hour ride during traffic jams (Between noon to 1 pm and between 3 to 6 pm. They have a free gym and is a bit more English-friendly (more TV channels, etc.)

In general do not expect people to speak English (except for some immigrant taxi drivers from West Africa)

  • Le Dorian/Hotel Leet. These two hotels are owned by the same French owner. They are located behind the old Komo Cinema in the Montagne Sainte neighborhood. Le Dorian has very good value rooms (newly renovated, cost around 50,000 CFA per night). The staff is friendly too.

Get out

Clubs, restaurants and bars in the Louis area come to life at night. The main street into Louis starts with Le Warhol's: the decor is in true Pop-Art style, the dance floor and lighting is great, good beats, and the entrance fee gets your first round of drinks. Butterflies doesn't seem like much from the outside, but inside its rustic interior, spacious lounge area and well placed dance floor is well worth the visit, and entrance is free. Pakito Lounge bar is a chilled out spot with pool tables and good vibe. The main street also sports Mirage lounge, Hollywood wine bar and other clubs.

The city is pretty lively at night so get out and enjoy.

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Wikipedia

English

Proper noun

Libreville

  1. The capital of Gabon.

Simple English

Libreville
Coordinates: 0°23′24″N 9°27′E / 0.39°N 9.45°E / 0.39; 9.45
Country Gabon
District Libreville
Founded 1843
Population (2005)
 - Total 578,156
Time zone WAT (UTC+1)

Libreville is the capital city of Gabon. It is the largest city in that country. The city has a population of 578,156 people. Libreville is a port on the Gabon River, near the Gulf of Guinea. It is a trade center for a timber region.

The Libreville International Airport, the headquarters for Air Gabon, is about 11 km (7 mi) north of the city.

History

The Mpongwé tribe lived in the area long before the French took control of the land in 1839. The city was founded (as Gabon) in 1843 as a trading station. Freed slaves were sent there from the ship L'Elizia. In 1848 it was named Libreville (French for "Freetown"). It was the chief port of French Equatorial Africa from 1934 to 1946.

Libreville was named in after Freetown. It grew slowly as a trading post and a minor administrative centre. It had a population of 31,000 when it became independent in 1960. Since independence, the city has grown more quickly. Nearly half the of the people of Gabon live in the city.

Things to see

Sights in Libreville include the National Museum of Arts and Traditions, the French cultural centre, St Marie’s Cathedral, the carved wood church of St Michael, Nkembo, the Arboretum de Sibang and two cultural villages. Gabon's school of administration and school of law are in Libreville. The Omar Bongo University is also in Libreville.

Industry

The city is home to a shipbuilding industry, brewing industry and sawmills. The city exports raw materials such as wood, rubber and cocoa from the city's main port, and the deepwater port at Owendo.


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