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Maputo was known as Lorenço Marques in Portuguese times. The city lies in the south of Mozambique and straddles the Indian Ocean. It used to be a very beautiful city, but during the 20-year long civil was that raged the country during the 1970's and 1980's large parts of the capital were destroyed and nowadays most buildings are deteriorating and the streets are dirty and broken. The situation is slowly improving, but it will take a very long time before the city's old glory is restored.

Even though the city is very run down, there are several interesting places that are worth a visit. The oldest building in town is the fortress, built by the Portuguese to protect the area. The railway station is a kilometer or so west of the fort. It was constructed in the beginning of the 20th century by Gustav Eiffel. It has been beautifully restored and there is a lot of woodwork and marble inside. Its copper dome is one of Maputo's main landmarks. The Museum of the Revolution is only interesting if you understand Portuguese, as there are no English signs whatsoever. The museum is on Avenida 24 de Julio. A more interesting museum is the National Art Museum with its exhibition of the country's best art.

On Avenida 25 de Setembro is the city's Municipal Market, a colorful collection of stalls where all sorts of fruits, vegetables, spices and handicrafts are sold. The Botanic Gardens are a few hundred meters north of the fort. The beaches in Maputo are of very bad quality, but there are better ones to the south of the city. About 5 kilometers north of Maputo is Costa del Sol where fresh fish is sold by fishermen. There are good beaches and during the weekends there are often musical performances.

The Ilha do Inhaca is an island off Maputo's coast. You can get there by boat, but make sure you arrange a time to be picked up, or you might be stranded there for several days. Some accommodation is available on the island.

In Maputo itself hotels and restaurants are widely available. Transportation around the city is by bus or taxi. The bus station is in the west of town, while the airport is to the north.

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Miscellaneous Information

Latitude:    25 58 S
Longitude: 32 36 E
Elevation:  59 m (194 ft.)

Population: 1,000,000
Cost-of-living compared to Washington D.C.: 127%

Hours from UTC: 2
Daylight savings time: n/a

City phone code: 1
Country phone code: 258

Average Weather Patterns

January25.8°C (78.4°F)13 cm (5.12 in)
April23.6°C (74.5°F)5.3 cm (2.09 in)
July18.6°C (65.5°F)1.3 cm (0.51 in)
October22.8°C (73°F)4.8 cm (1.89 in)

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