The Airport
Photo by: Wikimedia, Creative Commons

Yamoussoukro, the largest Christian place of worship on earth, is the capital of Cote d’Ivoire (commonly known Ivory Coast). With barely 300,000 in population, Yamoussoukro is often visited by tourists because of the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace (Notre Dame de la Paix), consecrated by Pope John Paul II on September 10, 1990.

Yamoussoukro was not the country’s first capital. It barely had 20,000 people residing in the small town up until the 1970’s. As it was home to Cote d’Ivoire’s long-term president Felix Houphouet-Boigny, and started performing important state functions, it became the official capital in 1983 instead of Abidjan city. Pres. Houphouet-Boigny helped a lot in the city’ rapid growth. That included the building of hotels and huge highways connecting it to the former capital of Cote d’Ivoire, where majority of the banks, government offices and foreign embassies remain.

Fishing and forestry form a huge part in Yamoussoukro’s economy. And it is also abundant of perfume industries.

Other than the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, which is very overpowering and is of fine architecture, people often talk about the Hotel President. It’s a hotel in Yamoussoukro that’s a lot older than the fined hotels in Abidjan but it’s fantastic as it has its own movie theatre. The hotel also has a restaurant that serves some of the best native food in all of Yamoussoukro. Of course, a tour in the city would not be complete without a visit to the presidential palace built during the Houphouet-Boigny rule. It’s a truly magnificent infrastructure and is surrounded by crocodiles which you can feed with chickens.

Other great sights include the Town Hall, the Protestant Temple, the Mosque and the very noteworthy Kossou Dam.

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