Brazzaville

Founded in 1880 by the Italian-French explorer Pierre de Savorgnan de Brazza, the Republic of the Congo’s capital city of three million inhabitants is dwarfed in size by neighbouring Kinshasa with its far larger population of 12 million, visible directly across the Congo River.

Brazzaville’s highlights include traditional craft markets and the mid-20th Century Basilica of St Anne with its green-tiled roof and spire.

Brazzaville has played an important role in Central Africa since the colonial period because of its geographical location. The Congo-Ocean railway has a stop there from where – because the Congo River is impassable downstream from the city – it transports goods to the port of Pointe-Noire on the coast.