The country was one of the major sources of the slave trade from the 15th century to the mid-19th century. And the Catholic Church played an important role not only in the ladinization of slaves but in their trade. It is estimated that almost 5.7 million slaves left Angola between 1501 and 1866. Angola was one of the great supplying sources from the 15th century to the mid-19th century.
In this tour, we will have the opportunity to go through some of the main places connected to the slave trade in Luanda and around Angola. You will get to know some of the main buildings, Monuments, and streets connected to the slavery trade.
We will start our tour at Largo de Pelourinho. The history of this place, in itself, sums up the brutality of slavery. Here, slaves were exposed in fairs, to exhibit the most robust and, supposedly, the most resistance to forced labor. Local authorities who refused to collaborate with the slave trade were “exemplarily” punished here, with the death penalty.
A few meters from there is Rua dos Mercadores, an alley that runs from Igreja dos Remédios and ends in the now Largo do Atlético. Rua dos Mercadores was all inhabited by slave traders. To testify to this are the two-storey buildings, with the front part of the bottom serving as a commercial establishment, the interior of a warehouse for slaves, and the upper residence.
The now called Largo do Atlético, is actually a monument erected in memory of a Portuguese captain, called Luís Lopes de Sequeira. Which, incidentally, still keeps the name there, in a very visible place and with a remark at least caricature for the present time: “Winner of the Battle of Ambuíla”, which overthrew King Congo, D. António I, 354 years ago. The story goes that after being killed and beheaded, the head of the King of Congo was transported and displayed as a trophy along the route from the current Largo do Ambiente to the Igreja dos Remédios, where the time it took to dry was exposed until it was buried.
The last spot to visit will be Fortaleza.
Return to the meeting point