3 African Sites Added to UNESCO’s ‘World Heritage’ List

Fredrick Ngugi July 13, 2017

Mbanza Kongo, the former Kingdom of Kongo, Angola

Mbanza Kongo

Mbanza Kongo town in Angola. Photo credit: O Palhão

Located on a plateau at an altitude of 570 meters, the town of Mbanza Kongo was a political and spiritual capital of the Kingdom of Kongo, which was one of the largest constituted states in Southern Africa.

The kingdom existed between the 14th and 19th centuries.

Mbanza Kongo consists of the royal residence, the customary court, the holy tree, and the royal funeral places.

Part of the urban metropolis consists of stone buildings constructed in the 15th century by the Portuguese invaders, while the rest of it is made up of a conurbation made with local materials.

The historical site is a true representation of the profound transformation caused by Christianity and the coming of the Portuguese people in Central Africa. It is located near Angola’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and sits on top of a flat-topped mountain, sometimes referred to as “Mongo a Kaila” (“mountain of division”), from where the king created the clans of the kingdom and sent them out.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: July 13, 2017


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