Info Porto-Novo


Porto-Novo is the official capital of the West African nation of Benin, and was the capital of French Dahomey. The commune covers an area of 110 square kilometres (42 sq mi) and as of 2002 had a population of 223,552 people.

The capital's name Porto-Novo is of Portuguese origin, meaning "New Port". It was originally developed as a port for the slave trade, an important part of many European Empires at the time including the Portuguese Empire.

Porto-Novo is a port on an inlet of the Gulf of Guinea, in the southeastern portion of the country. It is Benin's second-largest city, and although Porto-Novo is the official capital, where the national legislature sits, the larger city of Cotonou is the seat of government, where most of the government buildings are situated and government departments operate.

POPULATION :  City: 267,191  
FOUNDED :   16th century
LANGUAGE :  French (official), Fon and Yoruba
RELIGION :  Christian 42.8% (Catholic 27.1%, Celestial 5%, Methodist 3.2%, other Protestant 2.2%, other 5.3%), Muslim 24.4%, Vodoun 17.3%, other 15.5%
AREA :  110 km2 (40 sq mi)
ELEVATION :  38 m (125 ft)
COORDINATES :  6°29′50″N 2°36′18″E
SEX RATIO :  Male: 49.83% 
 Female: 50.17%
ETHNIC :  Fon and related 39.2%, Adja and related 15.2%, Yoruba and related 12.3%, Bariba and related 9.2%, Peulh and related 7%, Others 17.1%
WEBSITE :  www.villedeportonovo.com


The Porto Novo Museum of Ethnography contains a large collection of Yoruba masks, as well as items on the history of the city and of Benin.

King Toffa's Palace (also known as the Musée Honmé and the Royal Palace), now a museum, shows what life was like for African royalty. The palace and the surrounding district was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on October 31, 1996 in the Cultural category.

Jardin Place Jean Bayol is a large plaza which contains a statue of the first King of Porto-Novo. The da Silva Museum is a museum of Benin history. It shows what life was like for the returning Afro-Brazilians.


Porto-Novo was once a tributary of the Yoruba kingdom of Oyo and there continues to be a sizable Yoruba community in Porto Novo today.

The city was originally called Hogbonou and renamed by the Portuguese in the 16th centuryto Porto Novo (of Portuguese origin), meaning "New Port." It was originally developed as a port for the slave trade.

In 1861, the British, who were active in nearby Nigeria, bombarded the city, which persuaded the Kingdom of Porto-Novo to accept French protection in 1863. The neighbouring Kingdom of Dahomey objected to French involvement in the region and war broke out between the two states. In 1883, Porto-Novo was incorporated into the French "colony of Dahomey and its dependencies." In 1900, it became Dahomey's capital city.


Porto-Novo is hot and humid , with temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius on most days. February to May is a bit hotter, when even nights are very warm at 26 degrees Celsius on average.


Porto-Novo has a cement factory. The city is home to a branch of the Banque Internationale du Bénin, a major bank in Benin, and the Ouando Market.


Porto-Novo is divided into 5 administrative divisions:

1st arrondissement
2nd arrondissement
3rd arrondissement
4th arrondissement
5th arrondissement

Internet, Comunication

There are plenty of internet cafes that work well especially in the town center.

Benin - Travel guide

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