Sites & cities that bear the name of Bangui

Bangui

Today in : Central African Republic
First trace of activity : ca. 9th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Bangî

Description : Bangui is the capital and largest city of the Central African Republic. As of 2012 it had an estimated population of 734,350. It was established as a French outpost in 1889 and named after its location on the northern bank of the Ubangi River (French: Oubangui); the Ubangi itself was named from the Bobangi word for the "rapids" located beside the settlement, which marked the end of navigable water north from Brazzaville. The majority of the population of the Central African Republic lives in the western parts of the country, in Bangui and the surrounding area. Archaeological studies in and around Bangui have yielded at least 26 ancient Iron Age sites that contain many metallurgical tools and objects, illuminating the pre-European history of the city and surrounding area. The archaeological sites were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on 11 April 2006 in the Cultural category. The site closest to Bangui is Pendere-Sengue, 800 metres (2,600 ft) from Independence Avenue, where archaeologists and conservation agencies have carried out studies. It is a paleo-metallurgical site where several thousand shards of ceramics, iron tools, pottery, and an iron spatula weighing 9 kilograms (20 lb) have been unearthed. Its dating, compared with similar sites in Nigeria and Sudan, could be close to the 9th century BC. Bangui was founded by Albert Dolisie and Alfred Uzac on 26 June 1889, in what was then the upper reaches of the French Congo, the present-day Congo (Brazzaville). The original site was 6 miles (9.7 km) south of the Ubangi rapids. Its territory was organized first into the territory of the Upper Ubangi (Haut-Oubangui) and then as the separate colony of Ubangi-Shari. The initial capitals of these areas were at les Abiras and Fort de Possel further upstream, but the rapids at Bangui blocked them from direct communication along the river and caused the settlement there to grow in importance until, in 1906, it was chosen as the new headquarters for the French administration. Bangui retained its importance as a military and administrative centre when the colony was folded into French Equatorial Africa and under both Vichy and Free French control during World War II. The French operated a radio transmitter in Bangui, which was described in 1932 as "the most remote radio station in Africa".

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