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Libreville, Gabon » City Info » History

Libreville means Freetown in French. It started as a trading station in 1843 under the French government. Due to its proximity from the sea, it was where slaves were kept while they waited to board their vessels.


The city was the focus of the Battle of Gabon in 1940. Vichy French forces battled with Free French forces. Under the ruling of General Charles de Gaulle, the Free French forces succeeded in liberating Libreville and all of French Equatorial Africa.

In 1960, Libreville acquired independence and continued to develop. In recent years, numerous construction plans and the pooling of many foreign investors are slowly changing the city's skyline. Offering an authentic slice of Gabon's ethnic past, Libreville also possesses a cool air of the French influence. With Libreville's character and diversity, it remains as one of Sub-Saharan Africa's most prosperous cities.