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nikolaidis
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All cities in today’s Congo have Belgian colonial roots. I’ve searched the internet to find out how these cities, or at least its ( white ) citycenters looked like.

Cities in the Belgian Congo ( 1908 – 1960 ) were named after members of the royal family, or other persons that contributed somehow to the building up of the colony.

The Belgian Congo had two official languages : French and Dutch. This means cities, streets, etc, always carried two names ( Leopoldville – Leopoldstad, etc…), but in reality French was by far the most used language in the Belgian Congo.

Map of the Belgian Congo :


Leopoldville was the capital of the Belgian Congo. The city was founded as a trading post by Henry Morton Stanley in 1881 and named Leopoldville in honor of King Léopold II of Belgium. In 1966, six years after the independence, the city was renamed Kinshasa. Today the city counts 7,5 million inhabitants, which makes it one of the biggest cities on the African continent.


Leopoldville :


Leopoldville – aerial picture ( 1956 ) :


Leopoldville – Boulevard Albert I :

idem :


Leopoldville – Kalina district :


Leopoldville :


Leopoldville :


Leopoldville – some more nice pictures :






Leopoldville – statue of King Leopold II ( exactly the same statue was erected in Brussels ) :


Leopoldville – statue of King Albert I + central station :


Leopoldville – King Baudouin Stadium ( 1956 ). Capacity : 72.000 :


Leopoldville – Manneken Pis ( 1923 )



Elisabethville was founded in 1909 near a coppermine. In 1910, the city counted 300 Europeans and 1000 Africans. The city prospered with the development of a regional copper mining industry, and became the second city of the country. Today the city is called Lubumbashi. Population estimates vary wildly but average around 1.5 million.

Elisabethville - Place Royale :


Elisabethville – aerial picture ( 1930 ) :


Elisabethville – aerial picture ( 1961 ) :



Kolwezi :



Jadotville, the present Likasi, was founded during the early 20’s, and became officialy a city in 1943. Accept a mining city, Jadotville was also an important railway junction. Today the city holds 300.000 inhabitants.

Jadotville – early 20’s :



Stanleyville was founded in 1883 on an island in the Congo River near the present town of Kisangani by Henry Morton Stanley. Although it was/is the third city of the country, I haven’t found many pictures from this city. Today, this war torn city counts some 500.000 inhabitants.

Luluabourg is renamed Kananga and counts less than 400.000 inhabitants. Luluabourg was known for its diamant mines.

Luluabourg :


Luluabourg :


Costermansville is situated on the banks of Lake Kivu. It used to be something like Saint-Tropez : it attracted ( European ) tourists from all over Congo, thanks to its temparate climate and its scenic location. Today this city is called Bukavu, and it’s somewhat like hell on earth : looting, ethnic cleansing, public decaptivations,…this city has seen it all.

Costermansville – Cathedral :


Costermansville – Avenue Royale :
 

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wow, great thread. It most have taken you a long time to complile. Congo could have turned out to be a great country if it wasn't for the 30 year reign of Mobutu.

here are some more recent pics of Kinsasha from my African cities thread











 

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nikolaidis
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all. It has been a pleasure to compile this thread. :eek:kay:

Visit these websites to find more pics of the Belgian Congo :

Katanga Province :
http://www.inchi-yetu.be

Rest of Congo :
http://www.katembo.be/index1.htm

Many people send their colonial photo albums to these websites. Many of those pictures are boring ( people posing, people swimming in the pool, people at dinner,...), BUT sometimes you can come across some really stunning, amazing pictures. I think many of those people don’t realise what historical value some of their pictures have. One example : go to www.inchi-yetu.be, go to ‘nouveautés-yasasa’, scroll down to the pictures added on 2004/12/11. These pictures show very well how Elisabethville was built out of nothing.
 

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Nikoilaidis, are you from Greece? I heard that there was a quite strong Greek community in Zaire, is it still strong nowadays?

By the way, the pics really amaze me...I didn´t expect these kind of cities in Belgian Congo.

Moreover, welcome to the African sub-forum.
 

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nikolaidis
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Please feel free to post more pics; good job !

Matthias Offodile said:
Nikoilaidis, are you from Greece? I heard that there was a quite strong Greek community in Zaire, is it still strong nowadays?
I’ve got nothing to do with Greece, but I love that country.

I’ve been to Lubumbashi ( Elisabethville), Likasi ( Jadotville ) and Kolwezi, and I can testifie there still is a large Greek community. I’m not sure, but they might even have outnumbered the Belgians. The owner of the hotel where I stayed, the owner of the place where I always had breakfast…all Greeks. I also had a fabulous dinner at the Cercle Hellenique.

Cercle Hellenique :


The owner of the Cercle Hellenique is in Lubumbashi since 1967. I remember he still has the same ‘boy’ since that year. That ‘boy’ speaks fluently Greek. I also remember he told his restaurant was looted twice, and that he had a huge argument once with Laurent Kabila who thought he could eat for free in his restaurant. :)


The Cercle Hellenique has the best basketballpitch in the whole city :


Orthodox Church of Lubumbashi ( these pictures are protected ) :
http://www.inchi-yetu.be/sl_lub_eor.html

Greek wedding in Congo :
http://www.inchi-yetu.be/sl_lub_mar_ab03.html

There is even a Greek school in Lubumbashi.
 

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Hello Nikolaidis,

Thanks for the info you have given...interesting :)

Well, then you seem to be Belgian? What about the Belgian community in Zaire-Congo today? It used to be still very strong till the 70´s but many have left since then. While I stayed in Abidjan (during most of my childhood and adoslecent years) there was a pretty large community of Congo-Belgians (several thousand we were told at that time). Others have moved to other parts of Southern africa or back to Belgium, for all I know. But what about today? Do you have any figures (just out of interest)...would just be nice to know :)

Moreover, do you think that Congo has any chance of recovery? The country is really toooooo huuugggeee and to difficult to administer!!
 

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These are photos of former Lulouabourg (today it is callaed Kananga?)











there is a cinema below, a cinema in Luluaborg somewhere in the 50´s







even though this pic was taken in Luluabourg in the 50´s it EVEN still looks inviting today







this is a Belgian patisserie shop in Luluabourg

















THIS ARE RECENT PHOTOS - ALL TAKEN IN 2005 - WHICH I HAVE FOUND ON THE NET ABOUT FORMER LULUABOURG TODAY´S KANANGA. The city is an awful shape AND LOOKS HORRIBLY RUN DOWN :bash: :bash:













 
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