Town (pop., 2003 est.: 185,600), capital designate of Côte d'Ivoire. From 1960 to 1993 it served as the country's “second capital” because it was the birthplace, home, and unofficial headquarters of Pres. Félix Houphouët-Boigny. It was designated the official capital in 1983 and shares some of the functions of the former national capital, Abidjan. Fishing and forestry are important to its economy. It is the site of the basilica of Notre-Dame de la Paix, the world's largest Christian church, an almost exact replica of St. Peter's in Rome.
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The current governor of the district is N'Dri Koffi Apollinaire.
Diplomatic and commercial relations were then established, but in 1909, on the orders of the Chief of Djamlabo, the Akoué revolted against the administration. Bonzi station, seven kilometers (4.4 mi) from Yamoussoukro on the Bouaflé road, was set on fire, and the French administrator, Simon Maurice, was spared only by the intervention of Kouassi N'Go. This respected former leader persuaded the Akoué not to wage a war which could only have turned into a disaster.
As the situation returned to normal, Simon Maurice, judging that Bonzi had become unsafe, decided to transfer the French military station to Yamoussoukro, where the French Administration built a pyramid to the memory of Kouassi N'Go, Chief of the Akoué, and in homage to queen Yamousso, N'Gokro was renamed Yamoussoukro.
In 1919, the civil station of Yamoussoukro was removed, and Félix Houphouët-Boigny became the leader of the village in 1939. A long period was passed where Yamoussoukro, still a small agricultural town, remained in the shadows. This continued until after the Second World War, when it saw the creation of the African Agricultural Trade Union, and first conferences of its chief. However, it was only with independence that Yamoussoukro finally started to rise.
In March 1983, Yamoussoukro became the political and administrative capital of Côte d'Ivoire. This marked the fourth movement of the country's capital city in just one century. Côte d'Ivoire's previous capital cities were Grand-Bassam (1893), Bingerville (1900), and Abidjan (1933). The majority of economic activity still takes place in Abidjan.
Yamoussoukro is also the site of what is claimed to be largest Christian place of worship on Earth: The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro, consecrated by Pope John Paul II on September 10, 1990.
Also noteworthy are the Kossou Dam, the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation, the PDCI-RDA House, the various schools of the Félix-Houphouët-Boigny Polytechnic Institute, the international airport (with an average of six hundred passengers and 36 flights in 1995, it is one of two airports in Africa (with Gbadolite) that can accommodate the Concorde), the Town Hall, the Protestant Temple, the Mosque, and the Palace of Hosts.
On November 6, 2004, Yamoussoukro Airport was attacked by French infantry after military aircraft from the airport bombed a UN peacekeeper base as well as rebel targets and 9 French peacekeepers and one U.S. civilian were killed. Two Ivory Coast Sukhoi Su-25 aircraft and several Mil Mi-24 helicopters were destroyed, which was most of the country's air forces. Mobs and rebels tried to attack the French forces after the airport raid.