Infobox Settlement
official_name = Porto-Novo
other_name = Hogbonou, Adjacé
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mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location of Porto-Novo in Benin

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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = Benin
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established_title = Established
established_date = 16th century
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population_total = 223,552
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latd=6|latm= 29|lats=50 |latNS=N
longd=2 |longm=36 |longs=18 |longEW=E
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Porto-Novo (also known as Hogbonou and Adjacé (population 223,552 as of a 2002 census) is the official capital of the West African nation of Benin. It is a port on an inlet of the Gulf of Guinea, in the southeastern portion of the country. Porto-Novo is Benin's second largest city, but the city of Cotonou is more important, culturally and politically. The region around Porto-Novo produces palm oil, cotton and kapok. Petroleum was discovered off the coast of the city in the 1990s, and has become an important export.

Porto-Novo is located at 6°28' North, 2°36' East (6.46667, 2.6). [http://earth-info.nga.mil/gns/html/cntry_files.html]


Porto-Novo was once a tributary of the Yoruba kingdom of Oyo and there continues to be a sizeable Yoruba community in Porto Novo today. The city's name is of Portuguese origin, meaning "New Port." It was originally developed as a port for the slave trade.

In 1863, the British, who were active in nearby Nigeria, bombarded the city, which convinced the Kingdom of Porto-Novo to accept French protection. The neighboring Kingdom of Abomey objected to French involvement in the region, and war broke out between the two states. In 1883, Porto-Novo was incorporated into the French "colony of Dahomey and its dependencies". In 1900 it became Dahomey's capital city.

The kings of Porto-Novo continued to rule in the city, both officially and unofficially, until the death of the last king, Alohinto Gbeffa, in 1976. From 1908, the king held the title of "Chef supérieur".

Many Afro-Brazilians settled in Porto-Novo following their return to Africa after emancipation in Brazil. Brazilian architecture and foods are important to the city's cultural life.


Porto Novo had an estimated population of 234,168 in 2005.

Population trend:
*1979: 133,168 (census)
*1992: 179,138 (census)
*2000: 210.400 (estimate)
*2005: 234,168 (estimate)

Things to see

*The Porto Novo Museum of Ethnography contains a large collection of Yoruba masks, as well as items on the history of the city and of Benin.
*King Toffa's palace (also known as the "Musée Honmé" and the Royal Palace), now a museum, shows what life was like for African royalty.
*"Jardin Place Jean Bayol" is a large plaza which contains a statue of the first King of Porto-Novo.
*The da Silva Museum is a museum of Benin history. It shows what life was like for the returning Afro-Brazilians
*The "palais de Gouverneur" (governor's palace) is the home of the national legislature.

Other sites of interest include a Brazilian-style church, which is now a mosque, and the Institute of Higher Studies of Benin. The "Stade Municipale" and the "Stade Charles de Gaulle" are the largest football stadiums in the city.

Porto-Novo is not far from the living history town of Ouidah. It is also near to Nigeria and to Cotonou, and is not far from Pendjari National Park, a natural habitat for many African animal species.


Adjogan music is endemic to Porto-Novo. The style of music is played on an alounloun, a stick with metallic rings attached which jingle in time with the beating of the stick. The alounloun is said to descend from the staff of office of King Te-Agdanlin. The music is played to honor the King and his ministers. The music is also played in the city's Roman Catholic churches, but the royal bird crest has been replaced with a cross.


Porto-Novo has a cement factory.

See also

* Cement in Africa

External links

* [http://www.benintourisme.com/en/interne.php?idrub=10&id=79 Official Republic of Benin tourism site for Porto-Novo]
* [http://www.gouv.bj/en/benin/tourisme/porto.php Official Benin government website information about Porto-Novo]
* [http://www.porto-novo.biz/php/intro.php porto-novo.biz]
* [http://archnet.org/library/images/thumbnails.tcl?location_id=3357 Images of the Central Mosque of Porto-Novo]
* [http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Instruments/Anglais/measa_j_txt04a_en.html Adjogan]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Porto-novo — 6° 29′ 50″ N 2° 36′ 18″ E / 6.497300, 2.605100 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Porto Novo — 6° 29′ 50″ N 2° 36′ 18″ E / 6.497300, 2.605100 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Porto-Novo — im Departement Ouémé Porto Novo (dt. Neuer Hafen) ist die Hauptstadt des westafrikanischen Landes Benin und ist Sitz des Parlaments, des Präsidenten und einiger Ministerien. Die meisten Ministerien haben ihren Sitz jedoch in Cotonou. Ebenso ist… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • PORTO-NOVO — PORTO NOV Capitale du Bénin, Porto Novo a dû abandonner la quasi totalité de ses fonctions politiques et administratives au profit de sa rivale Cotonou. C’est l’agglomération d’Hogbonou qui, vers le milieu du XVIIIe siècle, fut rebaptisée Porto… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Porto-Novo — Porto Novo, con una población de 179.138 habitantes (1992), es la capital oficial de Benín. También es un puerto sobre la bahia Porto Novo, parte del golfo de Guinea. Porto Novo es la segunda ciudad más grande de Benín, luego de Cotonou. La… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Porto Novo — or Porto Novo [pôr′tō nō′vō] capital of Benin: seaport on the Gulf of Guinea: pop. 178,000 …   English World dictionary

  • Porto-Novo — Porto Novo, 1) (Feringhibet, Mahmud Bender), Stadt auf der Küste Coromandel im District South Arcot der indobritischen Präsidentschaft Madras, an der Mündung des Vellnar, welcher jedoch nur für kleinere Seeschiffe bis zur Stadt zugänglich ist; in …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Porto Novo — Porto Novo, ehemaliges Königreich an der Sklavenküste in Westafrika, seit 1883 unter französischer Schutzherrschaft, 1893 der Kolonie Dahomé einverleibt, zwischen der Ostgrenze der Kolonie, dem Kreise Kotonu im S., dem Sofluß im W. und der… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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  • Porto-Novo — the capital city of Benin …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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