Yamoussoukro Travel Guide

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The basilica

The basilica

Ettien Amon Georgette

In 1983 Yamoussoukro became the official capital of Cote d'Ivoire. But some twenty years later it is still capital only in name: Abidjan is where everything happens.

From 1960 onward the then president Felix Houpouet Boigny starting spending lots of money to make his native village into a big city. The result is that you now find a small city with some 100,000 people and loads of huge governement buildings, a bigger-than-life cathedral, a presidential palace and eight-lane highways, although no traffic and roads leading no where.

The main attraction for visitors is the Basilique de Notre Dame de la Paix, a copy of the St. Peter's in Rome . The stain-glass windows are truly impressive.

(one wonders how such a big building can be afforded by such a poor country.)

Houpouets Palace is also worth a visit. You cannot visit but you can witness the moment when the crocodiles in the pond just in front of the palace are fed...

The 'market' is best avoided, there is a huge festering garbage dump in the middle that is a serious health hazard. Other than 3 'supermarkets' there is nothing worth buying or seeing there, it really resembles a shanty town.

Restaurants in Yamoussoukro rate as average, with mediocre food and service, but high prices for what you get.

The President Hotel is the best hotel in town, although clearly government run, with appaling service and rude staff. In it's day it would have been a great place, but now it is faded, although the grounds, by comparison are very impressive and well kept.




March 18, 2009 change by trevorslade

November 06, 2005 change by wco

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