Libreville is the capital and largest city of Gabon, in western
central Africa. The city is a port on the Komo River, near the Gulf of
Guinea, and a trade center for a timber region. As of 2013[update] its
census population was 703,904.
5 Culture and education
8 Notable residents
12 External links
See also: Timeline of Libreville
La résidence, ca.1899
The area was inhabited by the
Mpongwé tribe long before the French
acquired the land in 1839.
In 1842, American missionaries from New England established a mission
in Baraka, Gabon, on what is now Libreville. In 1846, the Brazilian
slave ship L'Elizia, carrying slaves from the Congo, was captured near
Loango by the French navy which was tasked with contributing the
British Blockade of Africa. Fifty-two of the freed slaves were
resettled on the site of
Libreville (French for "Freetown") in 1849.
It was the chief port of
French Equatorial Africa
French Equatorial Africa from 1934 to 1946
and was the central focus of the Battle of
Gabon in 1940.
French Equatorial Africa
French Equatorial Africa (Afrique équatoriale française,
AEF) was created, and French companies were allowed to exploit the
Middle Congo (modern-day Congo Brazzaville). It soon became necessary
to build a railroad that would connect Brazzaville, the terminus of
the river navigation on the
Congo River and the Ubangui River, with
the Atlantic coast. As rapids make it impossible to navigate on the
Congo River past Brazzaville, and the coastal railroad terminus site
had to allow for the construction of a deep-sea port, authorities
chose the site of Ponta Negra instead of
Libreville as originally
envisaged. Construction of the
Congo-Ocean Railway began in 1921, and
Libreville was surpassed by the rapid growth of Pointe-Noire, farther
down the coast.
Libreville was named in imitation of
Freetown and grew only slowly as
a trading post and a minor administrative centre to a population of
32,000 on independence in 1960. It only received its first bank branch
Bank of West Africa (BAO)
Bank of West Africa (BAO) opened a branch in 1930. Since
independence, the city has grown rapidly and now houses nearly half
the national population.
Satellite view of Libreville.
From north to south, major districts of the city are the residential
area Batterie IV, Quartier Louis (known for its nightlife),
Mont-Bouët and Nombakélé (busy commercial areas), Glass (the first
European settlement in Gabon), Oloumi (a major industrial area) and
Lalala, a residential area. The city's port and train station on the
Gabon Railway line to
Franceville lie in Owendo, south of the
main built-up area. Inland from these districts lie poorer residential
areas. North-west of the Equatorial
Guinea is where the city stands,
labeling the city as a part of North-west Gabon. In terms of the
country's surrounding boundaries, north is Cameroon, east is Congo,
and south-east is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It also rides
the shores of the South Atlantic Ocean, which is on the country's west
coast for reference. Additionally, in terms of aquatic geography, the
Komo River passes through the city and empties into the ocean. The
Komo River also stands as a potential hydroelectric source of power
for the city which could generate supportive amounts of energy and
power. Several city districts provide distinct and separate benefits
throughout the city as well. In terms of night life, the Quartier
Louis sector is most renown. One of this zone's sides includes the
coast and this heavily influences the possibilities in terms of
activities available in the area. Commercial areas within Libreville
are housed in the
Mont-Bouët and Nombakélé which feature several
shopping centers and stations selling purchasable goods. Industry
within the capital city is heavy in Oloumi, integrating production
separately from the districts that focus upon other aspects. Finally,
Lalala and Batterie IV serve as residential and housing sectors, where
much of the populous are placed.
Libreville features a tropical monsoon climate with a lengthy wet
season and a short dry season. Libreville's wet season spans about
nine months (September through May), with a heavy amount of rain
falling during these months. The city's dry season lasts from June
through August and is caused by the cold
Benguela Current reaching its
northernmost extent and suppressing rainfall. Despite the lack of
Libreville remains very cloudy during this time of year.
As common with many cities with this climate, average temperatures
remain relatively constant throughout the course of the year, with
average high temperatures at around 29 °C (84 °F).
Climate data for
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average rainfall mm (inches)
Average rainy days
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Libreville International Airport
Libreville International Airport is the largest airport in
is located around 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) north of the city.
National Taxis operate around the city. Each district has a colour for
its taxis and Libreville's is red.
The National Society of Transport (SOGATRA) just[when?] launched the
new taxis that operate on a counter system.
The Gabonese Transport Company operates a bus service to all districts
Culture and education
The Embassy of the United States in Libreville.
the National Museum of Arts and Traditions
the French cultural centre
St Marie's Cathedral, seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of
the carved wood church of St Michael, Nkembo
the Arboretum de Sibang
two cultural villages
Libreville's main market lies in Mont-Bouët. Gabon's school of
administration and school of law are in Libreville.
Omar Bongo University (est. 1970), various research
institutes and a library. Alongside the Komo estuary is the Pongara
National Park of 929 km2. Behind Cap Esterias is Akanda National
Park, famed for its large congregations of migrating waterbirds.
The city is served by
There are several high-end international schools in Libreville,
American International School of Libreville – American curriculum
Lycée Blaise Pascal de Libreville – French curriculum
International School of
Gabon Ruban Vert – IB curriculum
Libreville is one of several African cities where French is truly
becoming a native language, with some local features.
Libreville beachfront, 2009, showing a billboard for President Ali
Bongo Ondimba's campaign.
The city is home to a shipbuilding industry, brewing industry, and
sawmills. The city exports raw materials such as wood, rubber and
cocoa from the city's main port, and the deepwater port at Owendo.
Gabon Airlines has its headquarters in Libreville. Prior to their
dissolutions, both Air
Gabon Express were headquartered on
the grounds of
Libreville International Airport.
Daniel Cousin, footballer who played for Larissa FC and the Gabon
Anthony Obame, Olympic silver medalist in the men's Taekwondo 80+ kg
at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, footballer who plays for
Arsenal and the
Charles Tchen, Honorary consul for the
Kingdom of the Netherlands
Kingdom of the Netherlands in
Marcel Lefebvre, traditionalist Roman Catholic bishop, served as a
missionary in Libreville
Nadège Noële Ango-Obiang, writer and economist
The entrance to Libreville, 1899
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain
unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to
improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (October
2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
^ "GeoHive – Gabon". 22 October 2015. Archived from the original on
6 September 2011.
Libreville Geography – Information, climate and weather in
Libreville Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
^  Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
^ (in French) "De plus, le français est également devenu la langue
maternelle de plus de 30 % des Librevillois et il est de plus en
plus perçu comme une langue gabonaise." Archived 29 May 2010 at the
Libreville – safari gateway into Gabon". Zambezi.com. 2012-06-19.
Gabon Airlines: Mentions légales Retrieved 8 October 2009
^ World Airline Directory. Flight International. 16–22 March 2004.
^ World Airline Directory. Flight International. 23–29 March 2004.
^ Press Association (2013-11-26). "Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Napoli
Champions League Group F Match Report Football". The Guardian.
See also: Bibliography of the history of Libreville
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Libreville.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Libreville.
(in French) Site officiel de la Mairie de Libreville
Coordinates: 0°23′24″N 9°27′16″E / 0.3901°N
9.4544°E / 0.3901; 9.4544
Capitals of Africa
Dependent territories and states with limited recognition are in
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Bangui, Central African Republic
Brazzaville, Rep. of the Congo
El Aaiún(claimed)/Tifariti(factual), Sahrawi Arab Democratic
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Jamestown, St Helena, Ascension & Tristan da Cunha2
Juba, South Sudan
Kinshasa, D.R. Congo
Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Lobamba (legislative), Swaziland
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Port Louis, Mauritius
Praia, Cape Verde
Cape Town (legislative)
Bloemfontein (judicial), South Africa
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas, Canary Islands5
São Tomé and Príncipe
Abidjan (economic), Ivory Coast
1 An unrecognised or partially-recognised nation
2 British Overseas Territory
Overseas region of France
4 Autonomous region of Portugal
5 Autonomous community of Spain
Gabon coup d'état
1964 United States Embassy in
Gabonese parliamentary election, 1964