Cidade Velha

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cidade Velha
Cidade Velha Pelourinho square b 2011.jpg
Cidade Velha is located in Cape Verde
Cidade Velha
Coordinates: 14°54′58″N 23°36′22″W / 14.916°N 23.606°W / 14.916; -23.606Coordinates: 14°54′58″N 23°36′22″W / 14.916°N 23.606°W / 14.916; -23.606
Country Cape Verde
Island Santiago
Municipality Ribeira Grande de Santiago
Civil parish Santíssimo Nome de Jesus
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 1,214
Designations
Official name: Cidade Velha, Historic Centre of Ribeira Grande
Type: Cultural
Criteria: ii, iii, vi
Designated: 2009 (33rd session)
Reference No. 1310
State Party: Cape Verde Cape Verde
Region: Africa

Cidade Velha (Portuguese for "old city", in Cape Verdean Creole: Sidadi[citation needed]) is a town in the southern part of the island of Santiago, Cape Verde. It is situated on the south coast, 10 km west of the capital Praia. A former capital of Cape Verde, it is the oldest settlement in Cape Verde. Once called Ribeira Grande, its name was changed to Cidade Velha so to avoid confusion with Ribeira Grande on Santo Antão island. It is the seat of the Ribeira Grande de Santiago municipality.

Located off Africa's northwest coast, this town was the first European colonial settlement in the tropics. Some of the meticulously planned original design of the site is still intact, including a royal fortress, two towering churches and a 16th-century town square. Today, Cidade Velha is an Atlantic shipping stop and center for Creole culture. The city became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009.[2]

History[edit]

Pillory, Cidade Velha

After the island was discovered, the city was named Ribeira Grande (Portuguese for large river) by António da Noli, in 1462. After discovery of the Americas, the settlement became an important port for trading slaves from Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone to Brazil and the Caribbean. Transcontinental slavery made Cidade Velha the second richest city in the Portuguese realm.

Cidade Velha's port was a stopping place for two great navigators: Vasco da Gama, in 1497, on his way to India, and Christopher Columbus, in 1498, while on his third voyage to the Americas.

Cidade Velha has the oldest colonial church in the world - Nossa Senhora do Rosário church, which was constructed in 1493 - 1495.[3] The fort Real de São Filipe overlooks the town. It was constructed in 1590 to defend the Portuguese colony from the attacks of the Frenchmen and English, in particular in 1585 when it was attacked and plundered by Francis Drake. However, it was sacked by French pirates in 1712. The capital was moved to Praia in 1770.[4]

Demography[edit]

Population of the city of Cidade Velha (1990–2010)
1990[citation needed] 2010[1]
2148 1214

Sites of interest[edit]

  • Pelourinho, first raised in 1520
  • Fort Real de São Filipe, constructed in 1590. It was a fort which was built for attacking pirates and defending the Portuguese colony from the French and the English. The elevation is at 120 m above sea level.
  • Nossa Senhora do Rosário church, the oldest colonial church in the world, built in Manueline Gothic style in 1493 - 1495.

Climate[edit]

Cidade Velha features an mild desert climate (Köppen: BWh ) with a short wet season and a lengthy, very pronounced dry season. In fact, outside of the months of August, September and October, little precipitation falls on Cidade Velha. The city on average sees about 260 millimetres (10 in) of rain per year. Despite the fact that it has an arid climate, Cidade Velha seldom gets very hot or very cold, due to its oceanside location on Santiago Island. Temperatures are warm and constant with an average high temperature of 27 °C (81 °F) and an average low temperature of 23 °C (73 °F).

Climate data for Cidade Velha
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 31
(88)
31
(88)
33
(91)
34
(93)
33
(91)
34
(93)
33
(91)
33
(91)
36
(97)
33
(91)
32
(90)
31
(88)
36
(97)
Average high °C (°F) 25
(77)
25
(77)
26
(79)
26
(79)
27
(81)
28
(82)
28
(82)
29
(84)
30
(86)
29
(84)
28
(82)
27
(81)
27
(81)
Average low °C (°F) 21
(70)
21
(70)
22
(72)
22
(72)
23
(73)
23
(73)
24
(75)
25
(77)
26
(79)
25
(77)
24
(75)
23
(73)
23
(73)
Record low °C (°F) 17
(63)
17
(63)
17
(63)
18
(64)
18
(64)
19
(66)
19
(66)
22
(72)
22
(72)
22
(72)
20
(68)
18
(64)
17
(63)
Rainfall mm (inches) 3
(0.12)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
5
(0.2)
97
(3.82)
114
(4.49)
31
(1.22)
8
(0.31)
3
(0.12)
261
(10.28)
Avg. rainy days 0.9 0.3 0.1 0 0 0 0.5 8 7 3 0.9 0.5 21.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 217 226 279 300 310 275 219 188 219 248 244 215 2,920
Source: BBC Weather [5]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "2010 Census results". Instituto Nacional de Estatística Cabo Verde (in Portuguese). 17 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "Cidade Velha, Historic Centre of Ribeira Grande - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Nossa Senhora do Rosário church in Cidade Velha". Wondermondo. 
  4. ^ "Cidade Velha, Santiago, Cape Verde Islands". CapeVerdeWeb.com. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  5. ^ "Average Conditions Praia, Cape Verde". BBC Weather. Retrieved June 19, 2013.