Image of Kinshasa and Brazzaville, taken by NASA; the extent of deforestation
is incidentally graphically revealed.
Brazzaville (population 600,000) is the capital of the Republic of the Congo and is located on the Congo River. The city was founded in 1880 by a French explorer, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, after whom the city was named.
In 1944, Brazzaville hosted a meeting of the Free French forces and representatives of France's African colonies. The resulting Brazzaville Declaration was intended to redefine the relationship between France and its African colonies after World War II.
Until the 1960s, the city was divided into European (the center of the city) and African sections (Poto-Poto , Bacongo , and Makélékélé ). The city has frequently been a staging ground for regional conflicts, including conflicts between rebel and government forces and between forces of the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Angola.
To distinguish between the two African countries with "Congo" in their names, the Republic of the Congo is sometimes called Congo-Brazzaville, as opposed to Congo-Kinshasa (the Democratic Republic of the Congo, known from 1971 to 1999 as Zaire, the capital of which is Kinshasa).
The city is a commune
that is separated from the other regions
of the republic; it is surrounded by the Pool