Freetown, Sierra Leone

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Freetown is the capital, largest city and principal port of Sierra Leone. It lies on a peninsula on the south bank of the estuary of the Sierra Leone River. The port is a natural harbour on the Atlantic Ocean situated on the west coast of Africa. There is potential for development of the fine beaches but civil war and violent crime have deterred tourism and delayed building programmes.


The Portuguese explorer, Pedro da Sintra, named the wooded hills behind Freetown, Serra Leoa or Lion Mountains, in 1462. Two hundred years later the British, Dutch, French and Danish trading companies were vying with the Portuguese for control of coastal trade. Freetown was founded in 1787 by British abolitionists as a home for liberated slaves. The community was wiped out by disease and re-established in 1792 by the Sierra Leone Company with slaves from Nova Scotia that had fought for the British in the American War of Independence. Descendants of these slaves are known as Creoles....

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