Fortress of São Miguel

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For the Canadian fort, see Fort San Miguel.
Fortress of São Miguel
Fortress of São Miguel

Fortaleza de São Miguel or Saint Michael Fortress was a Portuguese fortress built in Luanda, Angola.

São Miguel fort was built in 1576 by Paulo Dias de Novais. It became the administrative center of the colony in 1627 and was a major outlet for slave traffic to Brazil. This old fortress of São Miguel overlooks Luanda Island beyond the port.[1] This massive fort was for many years a self-contained town protected by thick walls encrusted with cannons.[2] Inside the fort, elaborate ceramic tiles tell the story of Angola from early years, and in the courtyard are large, imposing statues of Portugal's first king, the first European to reach Angola, Diogo Cão, renowned explorer Vasco da Gama and other notables.[3]

Until 1975, the fortress served as the headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief of the Portuguese Armed Forces in Angola.

Today, it holds the Museum of the Armed Forces.

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Coordinates: 8°48′S 13°13′E / 8.800°S 13.217°E / -8.800; 13.217