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(pôrt-ə-prĭns`, Fr. pôr-tō-prăNs`), city (1995 est. pop. 846,200), capital of Haiti, SW Haiti, on a bay at the end of the Gulf of Gonâve. The country's chief seaport, it exports mainly coffee and sugar. The city has food-processing plants; soap, textile, and cement industries; and other light manufacturing. Port-au-Prince is laid out like an amphitheater, with business and commercial quarters along the water and residences on the hills above. The Univ. of Haiti is there.

The city was founded in 1749 by French sugar planters. In 1770, it replaced Cap-Haïtien as capital of the French colony of Saint-Domingue (as Haiti was then known), and in 1804 it became the capital of newly independent Haiti. Port-au-Prince has remained unsanitary and economically backward, however, and has suffered frequently from earthquakes, fires, and civil warfare. In Jan., 2010, a devastating earthquake destroyed or damaged many of the city's buildings, including landmarks such as the National Palace, the National Assembly building, and other government buildings and the cathedral.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the capital of the republic of Haiti and the country’s political, economic, and cultural center. It is situated in the western part of the island of Hispaniola. The climate is tropical, with a mean January temperature of 25°C, a mean July temperature of 28°C, and an annual precipitation of 1,355 mm. Population, 387,000 (1972).

Founded by the French in 1749, Port-au-Prince became the capital of the French colony of Saint-Domingue in 1770. The city was a major center of the struggle against the colonial yoke in the late 18th century, and, on Jan. 1, 1804, it became the capital of the independent state of Haiti. During the 19th century, the city was the scene of many revolutions. It was occupied by American troops from July 1915 to August 1934. After World War II (1939–45) it was a center of the labor and student movement.

Port-au-Prince, the chief port of Haiti, is situated on the Baie de Prince in the Golfe de la Gonâve of the Caribbean Sea. The city is a railroad junction and the center of a region producing coffee, sugar cane, and cotton. There are textile, cement, and food-processing (chiefly sugar-refining) industries. Port-au-Prince is the site of the State University of Haiti, three higher technical schools, the National Conservatory, an ethnographic research institute, the National Library, the National Museum, the Museum of the Peoples of Haiti, and the Art Center.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


the capital and chief port of Haiti, in the south on the Gulf of Gonaïves: founded in 1749 by the French; university (1944). Pop.: 2 090 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
VITAL SUPPLIES: A crowd lines up to fill jugs and buckets with water from a truck in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made the request as soon as he returned to New York City from a trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital on Sunday.
affecting girls in the shantytowns of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Dominated
In Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a little girl takes a nap before the beginning of her class at the "Divine" school.
The historical painting series will be exhibited at the Musee du Pantheon National in Port-au-Prince, Haiti from November 2003 until March 2004 and will be published in a book with essays by leading scholars.
Patrick Sylvain, a native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, has lived in Massachusetts since 1981.
"We were happy when the Americans came," says Fabiola, 19, a student at a Catholic high school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital.
"Max can't come to the phone now; he's possessed," said the wife of Max Beauvoir, a voudon priest near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. If I had been in the States, I would have laughed.
The epicentre of the temblor was centred 12 miles northwest of Port-de-Paix situated on Haiti's northern coast, while tremors were felt in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, as well as in the neighbouring Dominican Republic.
Haitian Prime minister Jack Guy Lafontant gestures during a meeting with members of the Parliament in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, July 14, 2018.