San Antonio de Palé
|San Antonio de Palé|
Location of San Antonio de Palé on the island of Annobón
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The town has 600 inhabitants, the majority of whom speak the Annobonese creole. It is located in the extreme north of the island, which is the driest and flattest area. It is home to an aerodrome, a quay, a medical centre, a school, a lighthouse, a radio station and a Catholic mission.
Founded by Portuguese explorers, it passed under Spanish sovereignty in 1778, along with the rest of Annobón. But the population rebelled, and effective Spanish control only occurred much later. In 1801, the British constructed a small fort there, and later on, in 1827, Spain rented out the area around San Antonio as a British base to repress the slave trade. The town also served as the centre of evangelisation of runaway slaves from Angola. Capuchin and Carmelite missionaries first made the town their base in 1580.