Yamoussoukro is the political and administrative capital of Cote d’Ivoire and an autonomous region. Prior to 2011, Yamoussoukro, a district of the Lacs Region, was divided into two departments: Attiégouakro and Yamoussoukro in 2011. Since 2012, Yamoussoukro has been a local governor of the Yamoussoukro Department’s semi-governor’s office and has been an autonomous region since 2014.
Yamoussoukro is located 240 kilometers northwest of the city of Abidjan of the Ivory Coast Republic to the west of the African continent.
When did Yamoussoukro Become the Capital?
In the region where the city was founded, stone tools dating back hundreds of thousands of years were discovered. This discovery shows that life has continued in the region since ancient times. With the desertification of the Great Sahara and the hardship of the conditions, people left the region and migrated to the south. The nephew of Kouass N’Go, Queen Yamoussou, led the French colony of N’Gokro. The village of N’Gokro, with a population of 429, was later renamed Yamoussoukro.
Even after a long period of time, Yamoussoukro, still overshadowed by a small agricultural town, is on the rise with the country gaining independence. After 1964, President Félix Houphouët-Boigny made new plans and the city was built. In March 1983 President Houphouët-Boigny made the city its capital. Yamoussoukro has been the fourth capital of the country, which has changed within the same century. Most of the economic activities still take place in the previous capital Abidjan.
Features of Yamoussoukro
According to Yamoussoukro 2014 data, it has a population of 212,670. Yamoussoukro has a surface area of 3,496 square kilometers. With its quiet and tranquil atmosphere, has good weather conditions throughout the year.
Although there are not many places to visit in the city, the most delicious restaurants on the continent are found here. French heritage European dishes, as well as local delicacies, are noteworthy. The city, where the fishing and perfumery industries are developed, is the fifth most populous settlement in the country. Yamoussoukro is home to the world’s largest basilica. Yamoussoukro is the world’s fastest growing city with a population of 43.8%.
Important Places to See in Yamoussoukro
The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace is the largest Christian church in the world, which is seven times higher than the St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Although it is not preferred to worship St. Peter’s Basilica, it has a seating capacity of 11.000 people. Constructed between 1985 and 1989, the building, with an area of 30,000 square meters and a height of 158 meters, was listed as the world’s largest church in the Guinness World Records. The dome and courtyard of the building are inspired by the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The church, which was the legacy of the founder of the country, Félix Houphouët-Boigny, was blessed by John Paul II on 10 September 1990. Stained glass, ivory white columns and a dome of 158 meters are worth seeing. The Basilica can be visited with English speaking guides.
The Presidential Palace, where Houphouët-Boigny is buried, can only be seen remotely. But the holy crocodiles in the lake in the south of the palace are of great interest. The officer in the lake throws meat into the afternoon crocodiles. Apart from that, alligators are watching their visitors from the water by taking photos. But here it is important to keep the distance between crocodiles.