Leopoldville

Leopoldville

[lee-uh-pohld-vil, ley-; Fr. ley-aw-pawld-veel]
Leopoldville: see Kinshasa, Congo.
formerly Léopoldville

Capital and largest city (pop., 1994 est.: 4,655,313), Democratic Republic of the Congo. Situated on the southern bank of the Congo River, it was founded as Léopoldville in 1881 by Henry Morton Stanley. It became the capital of the Belgian Congo in the 1920s. After World War II it emerged as the largest city in sub-Saharan Africa and became the capital of the independent republic in 1960. It was given its present name in 1966. A major river port and a commercial centre, it is the seat of the University of Kinshasa (1954).

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