Praia Harbor

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Praia Harbor
Praia Harbor.jpg
Praia Harbor
Cape Verde
Country Cape Verde
Location Praia
Coordinates 14°55′12″N23°30′26″W / 14.9199°N 23.5071°W / 14.9199; -23.5071 Coordinates: 14°55′12″N23°30′26″W / 14.9199°N 23.5071°W / 14.9199; -23.5071
Owned by ENAPOR
Type of harborNatural/Artificial
Vessel arrivals1,054 (2017) [2]
Annual cargo tonnage817,845 metric tonnes (2017) [2]
Annual container volume390,205 metric tonnes (2017) [2]
Passenger traffic85,518 (2017) [2]

Praia Harbor (Portuguese : Porto da Praia) is the port of the city of Praia in the southern part of the island of Santiago, Cape Verde. It is situated in a natural bay of the Atlantic Ocean. Since the latest modernization in 2014, it has 2 long quays, 3 shorter quays, a quay for fishing boats with fish processing installations, 2 container parks, 2 roll-on/roll-off ramps and a passenger terminal. The total length of the quays is 863 m, and the maximum depth is 13.5 m. [3] The port of Praia played an important role in the colonization of Africa and South America by the Portuguese. With 817,845 metric tonnes of cargo and 85,518 passengers handled (2017), [2] it is the second busiest port of Cape Verde, after Porto Grande (Mindelo).


The bay of Praia lies between the headlands Ponta Temerosa and Ponta das Bicudas. The islet Ilhéu de Santa Maria lies in the bay, west of the port. The river Ribeira da Trindade empties into the bay, between the city centre (Plateau) and the port. Directly north of the port is the city subdivision Achada Grande Frente.


Combat de la baie de la Praia dans l'ile de Santiago au Cap Vert, le 16 avril 1781, by Pierre-Julien Gilbert (1783-1860) Battle of Porto Praya.jpg
Combat de la baie de la Praia dans l'île de Santiago au Cap Vert, le 16 avril 1781, by Pierre-Julien Gilbert (1783–1860)
Battle plan of the Battle of Porto Praya on 16 April 1781 at the harbour Plan de la bataille de Porto Praya le 16 avril 1781.jpg
Battle plan of the Battle of Porto Praya on 16 April 1781 at the harbour
Praia and the Harbor in 1806 BARROW(1806) p098 PORTO PRAYA, ISLAND OF ST.JAGO.jpg
Praia and the Harbor in 1806
1884 Map of Praia showing the harbor IMRAY(1884) p0166 CAPE VERDE, PORTO PRAYA.jpg
1884 Map of Praia showing the harbor

The first mention of the Praia harbour dates from 1497, when explorer Vasco da Gama anchored there on his way to India. [4] :26 There was a settlement at the bay already in 1515. [4] :94 In the 16th century the port developed into an important port of call for ships towards São Tomé and Brazil, in rivalry with the nearby older port city Ribeira Grande (now Cidade Velha). [4] :95 Between the end of the 16th century and the end of the 18th century, both Ribeira Grande and Praia suffered many pirate attacks, including those by Francis Drake (1585) and Jacques Cassard (1712). [4] :195 The harbour was mentioned as "P. Praya" in the 1747 map by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin. [5] Praia gradually superseded Cidade Velha to become the most important port of Cape Verde, and became the capital of Cape Verde in 1770. [6]

The naval battle of Porto Praya, part of the Anglo-French War of 1778-83, took place on April 16, 1781 inside the harbor. [7] The port of Praia was the first stop of Charles Darwin's voyage with HMS Beagle in 1832. [8] The old quay of São Januário was located at Praia Negra, directly under the Plateau (Praia). A new wooden pier was built in 1880 near the customs house, which is now the National Archives of Cape Verde Building, south of the Plateau. This pier was replaced with a concrete pier in the late 1920s. [4] :93–112 In 1881 the Farol de D. Maria Pia was built at the harbor entrance.

In the beginning of the 1960s new port facilities were constructed on the east side of the bay, 1 km southeast of the city centre. In the following years it was expanded and modernized, most recently in 2014. [3]

Ferry services

There are ferry connections from Praia Harbor to the islands of Brava, Fogo, São Nicolau, São Vicente, Maio, Boa Vista and Sal. [9]

See also

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  1. "UNLOCODE (CV) - CAPE VERDE". Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Statistics Port Praia, ENAPOR, December 2017
  3. 1 2 "Port of Praia" (in Portuguese). ENAPOR. Archived from the original on 19 February 2017. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Valor simbólico do centro histórico da Praia, Lourenço Conceição Gomes, Universidade Portucalense, 2008
  5. Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1747). "Carte des Isles du Cap Verd = Kaart van de Eilanden van Kabo Verde" (in French).
  6. Centre historique de Praia, UNESCO
  7. Theal, George McCall (1897) History of South Africa under the administration of the Dutch East India Company, 1652 to 1795. (S. Sonnenschein & co., Ptd.). p.181.
  8. Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle round the world - Chapter 1 at Wikisource
  9. Cabo Verde Fast Ferry's website