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Lourenco Marques (Maputo)

Lourenco Marques Harbour circa 1900


Lourenco Marques CathedralLourenço Marques lies on the northern bank of Espírito Santo Estuary of Delagoa Bay, an inlet of the Indian Ocean. It was given the name of the Portuguese trader who first explored the region in 1544. The town developed around a Portuguese fortress completed in 1787. Its main growth dates from 1895, when a railroad to Pretoria, South Africa, was completed. The port of Lourenco Marques handled transit trade from the mines and industries of South Africa, Swaziland and Rhodesia, with which it has both road and rail connections. After the border with Rhodesia closed, and as relations with South Africa became strained, the port suffered.

Created a city town in 1887, it superseded Moçambique as the capital of Portuguese East Africa in 1907. After independence in 1975, most of the city's large Portuguese population left and its name was changed to Maputo. Revenue from tourism, once a major economic factor, also declined at this point.


Lourenco Marques Quay side



Goods Place of Origin
Machinery Britain



Goods Destination
Coal British Empire
Cotton Britain
Sugar Britain
Copra Britain
Chrome Ore Britain
Hardwood Britain
Sisal Britain



Port Industries Other Industries
Ship-building and repair Cement Works
  Aluminium Works
  Fish Canning
  Iron Works


Scarrow Associations

Scarrow Period
Robert Scarrow 1929, 1932-33, 1939-40