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Background Information

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Mindelo view from Monte Verde
Mindelo is located in Cape Verde
Location in Cape Verde
Coordinates: 16°54′00″N 24°59′00″W
Country  Cape Verde
Municipality São Vicente (seat)
Parish Nossa Senhora da Luz (seat)
 • Perfeito
 • Total 67 km2 (26 sq mi)
Elevation(Centre) 60 m (203 ft)
Population (2010)
 • Total 79,681
 • Density 1,053.9/km2 (406.9/sq mi)
Area code(s) 238
Residents Mindelense m, pl

Mindelo (Mindel’ in Cape Verdean Creole), is a port city on the Cape Verde in the northern part of the island of São Vicente. Mindelo is also the seat of the parish of Nossa Senhora da Luz, and this island's municipality. The city is home to 96% of the entire island's population.


Downtown Mindelo seen from Fortim

There was a coal station in Mindelo during the times of steam navigation by the British. Mindelo is a cosmopolitan city. The Randall coal company was established at the shipping routes of Europe, South Africa, India, Australia and Africa and South America. In the beginning of 1875, the firm named Cory Brothers plummeted coal prices which increased the number of ships to 669 per year in 1879. When more ports were built in Dakar, Senegal and in the Canary Islands, the number of ships declined but increased to serve about 2,000 ships per year in the 20th century. In 1952, the coal camps were eliminated as boats switched to diesel.

In 1885, Mindelo was the switching station for the first Trans-Atlantic telegraph cable. In 1912, Mindelo became an important cable station in the world.

Mindelo became the cultural capital of the Portuguese-speaking country/state along with the Lusophone capital in 2003. Mindelo is also considered as the cultural capital of Cape Verde.


Harbour of Mindelo

The town is surrounded by mountains. A tan-colored deforested mountain lies to the east, and the smaller Vigia mountain defines the west edge of the town. To the south lies a range of brown deforested mountains Monte Cara, and the Morro Branco peak lies to the northwest. The town is crossed by a river named Ribeira Julião.

A little lower is another urban sprawl named Lazareto which is much smaller and touches the lower parts of the Monte Cara.

Mindelo's deep-water port, Porto Grande, is connected to Mindelo Bay, an underwater volcanic crater, and is used for cruise ships and other commercial traffic. The Ilhéu dos Pássaros, an islet at the entry of the Porto Grande, is 82 m (269 ft) above sea level and has a lighthouse. There is a ferry boat named Mar d'Canal that goes from Mindelo to Santo Antão and back twice a day, carrying up to 450 passengers and about a hundred cars and trucks.


Its economy consists mainly of business, fishing, shipping, boating and more commonly tourism which developed more recently. Mindelo has several hotels including:

  • Hotel 'Residencial Beleza'
  • Hotel Porto Grande
  • Mindel Hotel
  • Aparthotel Avenida
  • Residencial Chez Loutcha
  • Residencial Novo Horizonte
  • Residencial Sodade
  • Residencial Chave d'Ouro
  • Residencial Maravilha
  • 36 restaurants
  • 12 tourist agencies

Sites of interest

Porto Grande
  • Palácio do Governador (Governor's Palace) has a beautiful colonial architecture. It was constructed with two floors and is well preserved. It used the building style that is represented from India.
  • Paço do Concelho - where it serves the city hall of the entire island
  • Centro Nacional de Artesanato is an exposition which features qualification from Cape Verdean craftsmen. It also serves prominence in workmanship in paintings, ceramics, fabrics of batique and wooden works.
  • Liceu Ludjero Lima (middle school) also has a beautiful colonial architecture


Mindelo has schools, high schools, some parks, banks and a few squares praças. The nearest airport is founded in the southwest near São Pedro.

The town is known for its colourful and animated carnaval celebrations. Carnaval has its roots in Portuguese traditions and has also absorbed some Brazilian characteristics.


According to 2005 data, Mindelo had a population of about 70,000 inhabitants (50,000 in the mid-1990s) and is the second largest city in Cape Verde after Praia.

Population of the city of Mindelo (1990–2005)
1990 2000 2005
47109 62497 70000


  • Mindelo FM
  • Radio Clube de Mindelo
  • Radio Morabeza
  • Televisão do Povo de S.Vicente (TVP)


  • São Pedro Airport
  • Avenida 9 de Setembro
  • Rua Lisboa
  • Rua Machado
  • Avenida Marginal - northern part - runs marginally in which is named after
  • Road linking to the airport and São Pedro
  • Road linking to Baía das Gatas
  • Road linking to Mato Inglés
  • Road linking to Madeiral and Calhau

Sporting teams

  • Académico Mindelense - Capeverdean Premier Division
  • Castilho - Regional Division
  • Derby FC - Capeverdean Premier Division
  • Mindelense - Capeverdean Premier Division

Famous People from Mindelo

  • Bana, a Capeverdean singer.
  • Bau, a Capeverdean guitar and cavaquinho player.
  • Bela Duarte, a Capeverdean artist.
  • Cesária Évora, a notable Cape Verdean folk singer.
  • Corsino Fortes (1933), a Capeverdean writer.
  • Sergio Frusoni (August 10, 1901), a Cape Verdean Poet.
  • Manuel Lopes (1907-2005), writer, one of the founders of Claridade
  • João Cleofas Martins (August 27, 1901), Cape Verdean photographer and humorist.
  • Ovídio Martins (August 28, 1928, Cape Verdean poet.
  • Vasco Martins Cape Verdean musician.
  • Luís Ramos Morais, a Caepverdean writer.
  • Persons from the Mindelo Band
  • Mornista de São Vicente, a Capeverdean singer
  • Tito Paris (b. 1968), a Capeverdean musician.
  • Onésimo Silveira, poet, diplomat and a political activist.
  • Carlos Veiga (b. October 21, 1949), a former Prime Minister of Cape Verde
  • Gabriela Mendes, a notable Cape Verdean folk singer.

Nearest communities

  • Lazareto, SW
  • Madeiral, SE
  • Seixal, E
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