Maputo 3 Hours | Cycle The Pearl Of The Indian Ocean
Maputo had always been the center of attention during its formative years and this strong artistic spirit was responsible for attracting some of the world's most forward architects at the turn of the 20th century. The city is home to masterpieces of building work by Pancho Guedes, Herbert Baker and Thomas Honney amongst others. The earliest architectural efforts around the city focused on classical European designs such as the Central Train Station (CFM) designed by architects Alfredo Augusto Lisboa de Lima, Mario Veiga and Ferreira da Costa and built between 1913 and 1916 (sometimes mistaken with the work of Gustav Eiffel), and the Hotel Polana designed by Herbert Baker.
Maputo is a melting pot of several cultures. The Bantu and Portuguese cultures dominate, but the influence of Arab, Indian, and Chinese cultures is also felt.
Our outride starts at the iconic Polana Hotel overlooking the azure blue of the Indian Ocean.
The central area of Maputo corresponds to a planned city with square blocks and wide avenues, with Portuguese traces and their typical architecture of the 1970s
Above: The Monument to the Great War, erected as a memorial to the Portuguese that died during World War I.
On the northern bank of Espírito Santo Estuary of Delagoa Bay, an inlet of the Indian Ocean, Lourenço Marques was named after the Portuguese navigator who, with António Caldeira, was sent in 1544 by the governor of Mozambique on a voyage of exploration. They explored the lower courses of the rivers emptying their waters into Delagoa Bay, notably the Espírito Santo. The forts and trading stations that the Portuguese established, abandoned and reoccupied on the north bank of the river, were all called Lourenço Marques. The existing town dates from about 1850, the previous settlement having been entirely destroyed by the natives. The town developed around a Portuguese fortress completed in 1787.
Our cycle tour today will include many iconic landmarks, an introduction to Mozambique's fascinating culture and history, a coffee/espresso stop and much more.
At the center of the city lies the Jardim Tunduru (Tunduru Gardens) which was formerly called the Jardim de Vasco Da Gama. It was designed in the 1880s by a British architect, Thomas Honney. The entrance of the park is designed in the Neo-Manueline style. After independence, the name was changed to the current one and a statue of the country's first president was erected.
During its five centuries of Portuguese colonialization, the city has gained several examples of Portuguese architecture. Most of the note-worthy buildings are former colonial administrative buildings or current government buildings.
The city's landmarks include:
Maputo's Tunduru Garden, with its Manueline arch.
Fortress of Maputo
Central Railway Station (CFM)
Municipal Council of Maputo
Cathedral of Maputo
The Museum of Natural History
Vila Algarve – The former location of Portuguese Secret Police (PIDE)