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Porto-Novo (pôrˈtō nōˈvō), city (1992 pop. 179,138), capital of Benin, S Benin, a port on Porto-Novo lagoon, an arm of the Gulf of Guinea. It is Benin's second largest city and an administrative and shipping center. However, it is less important commercially and industrially than Cotonou, to which it is connected by rail. Porto-Novo is the trade center for an agricultural region whose chief product is palm oil; the city's exports include palm oil, cotton, and kapok. Probably founded in the late 16th cent. as the capital of a small kingdom, Porto-Novo [new port] got its name from the Portuguese, who built a trading post there in the 17th cent. Africans were shipped as slaves from Porto-Novo to the Americas. The Porto-Novo kingdom accepted French encroachment in 1863 as a means of fending off Great Britain, which was active in nearby S Nigeria. However, the inland Dahomean kingdom of Abomey resented the French presence, and fighting broke out. In 1883 the French navy landed at Porto-Novo and Cotonou. Porto-Novo was incorporated into Dahomey colony and in 1900 was made its capital. The Institute of Higher Studies of Benin is in the city.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the capital of Benin (formerly Dahomey). Second to Cotonou in political terms, it is an economic and cultural center. Porto-Novo is situated near the Gulf of Guinea. The climate is equatorial, with a mean temperature of 27.7 °C in January and 25.3 °C in July. Precipitation totals 1,590 mm a year. Population, 91,000 (1973).

The first information about Porto-Novo dates from the 17th century, when the city was called Adjatché and was the capital of the kingdom of the same name. The name Porto-Novo reflects the presence in Adjatché of the Portuguese, who first reached the coast of what is now Benin in the 15th century. In the first half of the 19th century, Porto-Novo became part of Dahomey. When Dahomey became a French colony in 1893, Porto-Novo became its capital. On Aug. 1, 1960, it became the capital of the independent state of Dahomey (since November 1975, Benin).

A highway junction, Porto-Novo has a port and a railroad station. Industries include handicraft production, primary processing of agricultural raw materials, and production of food and condiments. The city also has a large soap-manufacturing plant There are oil-palm plantations outside of Porto-Novo. Fishing is important to the city’s economy.

Porto-Novo is the site of the Institute of Applied Research, the National Library, the National Archives, and the Ethnographic Museum.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Porto-Novo: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad left for Benin on Sunday for his first stop on a three-nation west African tour that will also take him to Ghana and Niger, the world's fourth-largest uranium producer.
(12.) Thangaraja M (1982) Studies on development, distribution and abundance of fish eggs and larvae in the Vellar estuary, Porto-Novo (South India).
CAPITAL>>> Porto-Novo (official capital; seat of government is Cotonou)
This selection, which in any case is not exhaustive, does not necessarily claim to be representative; it simply gives the reader an idea of some of the issues raised in Porto-Novo and through them the main recurring question: is there any sense today in talking about reason in general?
KUWAIT -- In Porto-Novo, Ambassador Fayez Al-Jassem hosted a reception attended by a large number of Benin's senior officials, businessmen and heads of diplomatic missions of Arab and other friendly countries in the West African nation.
In a meeting between Iranian President's Chief of Staff Mohammad Nahavandian and Beninese Foreign Minister Nasirou Bako on Tuesday, the two officials called for advanced relations between Tehran and Porto-Novo in various economic, cultural, scientific and political domains.
Lors de la 18eme edition de cette competition continentale, tenue du 28 juin au 1er juillet 2012 a Porto-Novo (Benin) et remportee par le Nigeria, le Maroc avait termine 7eme avec 7 medailles (2 en or, 2 en, et 3 en bronze).
Champion d'Afrique de ladite epreuve en 2012 a Porto-Novo (Benin), l'enfant de Souk-Ahras compte travailler davantage sa vitesse avec les meilleurs mondiaux afin de jauger ses capacites de preparation dans cette specialite.
PORTO-NOVO (TAP) - resigned as interim president of the Central African Republic on Friday after months of sectarian violence, has sought exile in Benin, according to Chadian and Beninese officials.
Benin's matches are played at the 15,000-capacity Stade Charles de Gaulle - the stadium's title giving away the French influence in the country - in the capital Porto-Novo, home stadium of AS Dragons FC.
ABUJA (CyHAN)- Benin authorities say that over 100 graves have damaged and desecrated in a cemetery located near the capital, Porto-Novo.