Map of Santiago
|Elevation||337 m (1,106 ft)|
Assomada (in Cape Verdean Creole: Somada) is the county seat of the municipality of Santa Catarina, which comprises the central western part and much of the interior of the Sotavento (leeward) island of Santiago in Cape Verde. Assomada lies on a high plateau surrounded by mountains, farmland, and hills in the center of Santa Catarina.
Assomada lies at approximately the midpoint on the highway that runs the length of the island of Santiago from Praia (the capital) in the south to the seaside port of Tarrafal in the north. It is also connected by road to São Lourenço dos Orgãos and the eastern port of Pedra Badejo. Assomada is located 64 km N of Praia, NW of São Lourenço dos Orgãos, and south of Tarrafal.
The city of Assomada is home to 14.2% of the area of the municipality of Santa Catarina, whose other main settlement is the town of Picos. Assomada is subdivided into 22 neighborhoods over an urban area of about 213 ha or 2.13 km². In 2010, the city is projected to grow to 550 ha or 5.5 km² with about 12,000 to 13,000 people throughout the municipality. The city has grown considerably since the independence of Cape Verde, and the regional center attracts many people coming from the interior and other parts of the island in search for work.
Assomada plays an important commercial role and has a pleasant combination of urban areas and fields. The city centre features many Portuguese-style colonial buildings. In the center of town lie churches, banks, and several town squares (praças).
The market of Assomada is one of the largest on the island of Santiago, with a large variety of agricultural products and crafts. It is the central collection and distribution point for products produced throughout the surrounding countryside, and while the consumer-focused market is very large and vibrant, the majority of the trade is between middlemen (rabidantis) who bring the produce to larger national and international markets.
Assomada is also home to one of Cape Verde's few museums: the Museu da Tabanka, which sits outside the city square. The building was built by the Repartição da Fazenda e dos Correios, and is considered a cultural and historic heritage site for its architectural origins. It doubles as the Assomada Cultural Centre when hosting parades, traditional concerts, and other cultural events. The Museu da tabanca organizes temporary exhibits, adding to cultural life in Santa Catarina and the interior of the island of Santiago. The museum also features a valuable collection of local writing and paintings.
According to 2005 data, Assomada was home to 11,900 people.
Assomada has two universities (i.e., one private and one public): Universidade de Santiago, and Instituto Universitário de Educação respectively, an extensive school complex, including a "Liceu" (high school or secondary school), and "Escola Primária" (primary school). It is also the home of the elite Escola Técnica, a vocational school, which trains the most promising Cape Verdean youth in career skills.
- Photos of Assomada on ecaboverde.com - available in languages including English, French, Portuguese and Spanish
- Map and aerial photos:
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