What to see in Maputo Mozambique
Maputo is the capital city of Mozambique in South Eastern Africa. Things to see in Maputo Mozambique include;
- Casa de Ferro (The Iron House)
- The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
- Maputo Fort (Fortaleza de Maputo)
- Independence Square
- City Hall
- Craft market
- CFM Railway Station
Visit Maputo Mozambique – Maputo History
The official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, in fact, back in 1975 Mozambique gained independence from the Portuguese. Due to the Portuguese history of the country you’ll find lots of colonial buildings from this era. Foodies will love Maputo as there are lot’s of Mozambican food restaurants as well as Portuguese influenced restaurants.
Maputo is separated into two main districts, Baixo (downtown) which is the business district. Additionally, the other main district is Polana Cimento. You’ll find most of the points of interest in Baixo but it’s worth visiting Polana Cimento, if not for anything else, for the restaurants.
What was Mozambique formerly called?
Mozambique used to be called Portuguese East Africa or Portuguese Mozambique. Furthermore, the city of Maputo used to be called Lourenço Marques. In 1975, after independence from Portugal, it became simply, Mozambique.
Iron House – Casa de Ferro
Casa de Ferro is known in English as The Iron House. As a matter of fact it was designed by the same architect who designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Gustave Eiffel. The whole house is made from iron, including its interior of walls and ceilings. For this reason it’s considered to be a masterpiece in Mozambique. The house was designed for the governor of Maputo. Due to the tropical climate and the fact the house is made from iron makes it too hot and uninhabitable. Still, it can be admired as a tourist attraction and a truly unique alternative to the Eiffel Tower.
Maputo Fort – Fortaleza de Maputo
Maputo Fort is also known as Fortaleza de nossa Senhora da Conceição or the Fort of Lourenço Marques. This fort was constructed by the Portuguese in the 19th century. In fact, you can still find Portuguese era cannons inside. The fort photographs beautifully from the outside. In addition, the views from inside the fort looking out over the Bay of Maputo are stunning too. Furthermore, the unique Ministry of Trade and Industry building is very Instagrammable.
City Hall, Independence Square
City Hall was built in 1945 and houses the Mayor. Throughout the colonial era it housed the governor. Independence Square was originally built by the Portuguese in 1940 and it used to be called Mouzinho de Albuquerque Square. Mouzinho de Albuquerque was the former governor of Portuguese Mozambique. For this reason there used to be a statue of him in the center of the square. In 1975 when Mozambique gained independence from the Portuguese they renamed the square Independence Square. Furthermore, the statue was replaced by a statue of Samora Machel, the first president of Mozambique.
Cathedral of our Lady of Conception
Maputo has its own showcase cathedral, the Cathedral of our Lady of Conception (Nossa Senhora da Conceicao). This stunning pearl white cathedral is adjacent to Independence Square. Additionally it was built in 1944 under Portuguese rule. For this reason, the cathedral was designed by Portuguese designer, Marcial Simões de Freitas e Costa. It’s believed that his inspiration for the design came from the Church of Notre Dame du Raincy in France.
Nearby the cathedral are the Tunduru Gardens which were designed in 1885. The designer of these gardens also designed gardens for the Sultan of Turkey as well as the King of Greece. Unfortunately these gardens are past their best, nevertheless I still recommend a quick walk through them.
CFM Railway Station
The CFM railway station (Caminho de Ferro de Mozambique) was built in 1912 and it’s located in downtown Maputo. It has been voted as one of the top ten most beautiful railway stations in the world. In fact the iron dome (above) was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the architect behind the Eiffel Tower. You can take a train from Maputo to Pretoria or Johannesburg in South Africa.
Intercape Maputo Johannesburg
It is rumored that the train to South Africa can be dangerous. As a result I recommend you travel by bus. I recommend the Intercape bus service.
Where is Maputo Mozambique?
Maputo is located in South East Africa. For this reason you can travel from Johannesburg to Maputo by bus or train. Alternatively you could find a cheap flight direct to Maputo. Enjoy your visit to Maputo!
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