Mindelo, São Vicente

Mindelo (Mindel’ in Cape Verdean Creole), is a port city on the Cape Verde in the northern part of the island of São Vicente. Mindelo is also the seat of the parish of Nossa Senhora da Luz, and this island's municipality. The city is home to 96% of the entire island's population.

LCF9312There was a coal station in Mindelo during the times of steam navigation by the British. Mindelo is a cosmopolitan city. The Randall coal company was established at the shipping routes of Europe, South Africa, India, Australia and Africa and South America. In the beginning of 1875, the firm named Cory Brothers plummeted coal prices which increased the number of ships to 669 per year in 1879. When more ports were built in Dakar, Senegal and in the Canary Islands, the number of ships declined but increased to serve about 2,000 ships per year in the 20th century. In 1952, the coal camps were eliminated as boats switched to diesel.

In 1885, Mindelo was the switching station for the first Trans-Atlantic telegraph cable. In 1912, Mindelo became an important cable station in the world.

Mindelo became the cultural capital of the Portuguese-speaking country/state along with the Lusophone capital in 2003. Mindelo is also considered as the cultural capital of Cape Verde.



The town is surrounded by mountains. A tan-colored deforested mountain lies to the east, and the smaller Vigia mountain defines the west edge of the town. To the south lies a range of brown deforested mountains Monte Cara, and the Morro Branco peak lies to the northwest. The town is crossed by a river named Ribeira Julião.

A little lower is another urban sprawl named Lazareto which is much smaller and touches the lower parts of the Monte Cara.

Mindelo's deep-water port, Porto Grande, is connected to Mindelo Bay, an underwater volcanic crater, and is used for cruise ships and other commercial traffic. The Ilhéu dos Pássaros, an islet at the entry of the Porto Grande, is 82 m (270 ft) above sea level and has a lighthouse. There is a ferry boat named Mar d'Canal that goes from Mindelo to Santo Antão and back twice a day, carrying up to 450 passengers and about a hundred cars and trucks.



Sites of interest

▪ Palácio do Governador (Governor's Palace) has a beautiful colonial architecture. It was constructed with two floors and is well preserved. It used the building style that is represented from India.

▪ Paço do Concelho - where it serves the city hall of the entire island

▪ Centro Nacional de Artesanato is an exposition which features qualification from Cape Verdean craftsmen. It also serves prominence in workmanship in paintings, ceramics, fabrics of batique and wooden works.

▪ Liceu Ludjero Lima (middle school) also has a beautiful colonial architecture

LCF8066Mindelo has schools, high schools, some parks, banks and a few squares praças. The nearest airport is founded in the southwest near São Pedro.

The town is known for its colourful and animated carnaval celebrations. Carnaval has its roots in Portuguese traditions and has also absorbed some Brazilian characteristics.