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Fortress of Cacheu
Fortress of Cacheu
Cacheu is located in Guinea-Bissau
Location in Guinea-Bissau
Coordinates: 12°16′14″N 16°09′57″W / 12.27056°N 16.16583°W / 12.27056; -16.16583
CountryFlag of Guinea-Bissau.svg Guinea-Bissau
RegionCacheu Region
44 m (144 ft)
 (2009 census)
 • Total9,882

Cacheu is a town in northwestern Guinea-Bissau, lying on the Cacheu River. Its population was estimated to be 9,849 as of 2008.[1]

History and landmarks[edit]

The town of Cacheu is situated in territory of the Papel people. The name is of Bainuk origin: "i.e. Caticheu, meaning 'the place where we rest'."[2]

Founded in 1588,[3] Cacheu was one of the earliest European colonial settlements in sub-saharan Africa, due to its strategic location on the Cacheu river. Cacheu developed a European/Afro-European population from the late fifteenth century through informal settlement of Cape Verdian and Portuguese traders, adventurers and outcasts (lancados). The authorities in mainland Portugal also sent to Cacheu degredados - people condemned to exile for a variety of offences.[4]

For most of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Cacheu was the official slave trading point for the Portuguese in the Upper Guinea region - the point at which the Portuguese crown endeavoured to ensure that duties on all slaves exported were paid.

Notable buildings in Cacheu include the Portuguese-built 16th century fort, dating from the period when Cacheu was a centre for the slave trade.

Cacheu Today[edit]

Roads in the town are paved with oil palm kernels. Other attractions in the town include the Tarafes de Cacheu Natural Park mangrove swamp and a regular market.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Cacheu is twinned with:


  1. ^ World Gazetteer Archived October 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved on June 16, 2008
  2. ^ Philip J. Havik, Silences and Soundbites: The Gendered Dynamics of Trade and Brokerage in the Pre-colonial Guinea Bissau Region (LIT Verlag Münster, 2004; ISBN 3825877094), p. 57, citing Cissoko, paper presentation at 5th Centenary Conference 'Cacheu, Cidade Antiga', Cacheu, 1988.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Disney, AR (2009). A History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire. 2. Cambridge University Press. pp. 51–55.
  5. ^ "Lisboa - Geminações de Cidades e Vilas" [Lisbon - Twinning of Cities and Towns]. Associação Nacional de Municípios Portugueses [ National Association of Portuguese Municipalities] (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  6. ^ "Acordos de Geminação, de Cooperação e/ou Amizade da Cidade de Lisboa" [Lisbon - Twinning Agreements, Cooperation and Friendship]. Camara Municipal de Lisboa (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 2013-10-31. Retrieved 2013-08-23.

Coordinates: 12°16′N 16°10′W / 12.267°N 16.167°W / 12.267; -16.167