is the capital
, and is technically the safest place in the entire nation. This isn't much of a standard, considering the de facto
state of war that exists in Angola at all times; however, the city is the most landmine-free portion of the nation
; about two-thirds of Angola's territory is still laden with mines.
Luanda experienced a huge upsurge of population during the two-decade civil war; farmers moved into the city en masse from the countryside to avoid the rival factions battling over the remainder of the nation: If the MPLA didn't kill you, UNITA would. As a result of this influx, the city's poorly maintained basic services broke down. Overpopulation is a major problem, as is economic recovery.
Luanda was settled by the native Africans, although the majority of it was built by the Portuguese, who arrived in 1575 and established the port of Sao Paolo in 1576. Significant landmarks include the Cathedral of Luanda, built in 1583.
Portuguese interest in the colony declined as their focus moved to Brazil, using their Angolan ports to benefit the slave trade. The movement for independence during the post-World War II swell of African nationalism was bolstered by the fact that the black majority dominated completely over the handful of Portugese settlers who still resided in the colony.
Once independence was declared, Luanda became the safe harbor for everyone wishing to avoid the military strife. Luanda's population has quadrupled since 1975, peaking at around 3 million. Population density has reached an all-time high, and even recent peace agreements still leave the city in squalor.