Mozambique Landmarks and Monuments

(Mozambique, MZ, South-East Africa)

The history of Mozambique and its location on the eastern seaboard of Africa mean that the country can offer plenty in the way of prominent monuments and familiar landmarks.

Whilst some can be easily viewed in the capital city of Maputo, others require visitors to travel more widely, both in the busy south of the country and in the more remote areas of northern Mozambique.

Before the construction of the Suez Canal, Mozambique Island was the country's main Portuguese port and a real hive of commercial activity, and today serves as a popular destination for tourists.

Statue of Samora Machel

Address: Praca da Independencia, Maputo, Mozambique, MZ, Africa
Samora Moisés Machel (1933 to 1986) was the very first president of the People's Republic of Mozambique, declared in 1975. Following his death in a suspicious plane crash, this statue was erected in 1999 in his honour and is now considered to be a national heritage site. The statue depicts Samora Machel dressed in military attire with his arm in the air, a stance that he often adopted during speeches.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Central Railway Station (Caminho dos Ferros)

Address: Praca dos Trabalhadores, Maputo, Mozambique, MZ, Africa
Designed by one Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (most famous for creating the Eiffel Tower in Paris) in 1910, the CFM Railway Station in Maputo is something of an architectural marvel and widely regarded as one of the world's most magnificent railway stations. Ornate ironwork, marble pillars, elegant verandahs and a huge central dome are some of the features that survive to this day. Train enthusiasts should also look out for the two vintage steam locomotives still housed in the station.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Iron House (Casa de Ferro)

Address: Avenida Samora Machel, Maputo, Mozambique, MZ, Africa
Situated just off the Rua da Radio, the Iron House (Casa do Ferro) is the second of Maputo's historic buildings to be designed by the mastermind of the Parisian Eiffel Tower. It is thought that Gustave Eiffel never actually set foot in Mozambique, and yet his twin legacies (the other being the Central Railway Station) live on. Today, the building houses Mozambique's historic monuments administration. Originally, it was intended to be a home for the Portuguese governor of the time, although it was never actually lived in because the metal exterior was not really designed with the hot climate in mind, retaining so much heat that the interior can be somewhat oppressive at times.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Maputo Fortress / Fort (Fortazela)

Address: Praca 25 de Junho, Maputo, Mozambique, MZ, Africa
Maputo's fortress is perhaps one of the city's best-known monuments. In terms of its structure, it is like many other Portuguese-commissioned military outposts in Africa. Built in the middle of the 19th century, the fort was used variously by Dutch settlers, for carrying on the slave trade and as a fully fledged place of defence against pirate marauders. Today, it is put to good use as a combined military museum-type attraction and exhibition space, complemented by the interior gardens.
Open hours: daily - 08:00 to 17:00
Admission: free

Cahora Bassa Dam

Address: Songo, Mozambique, MZ, Africa
Cahora Bassa is an impressive dam that was built on the Zambezi River system in the late sixties. Situated near to Songo in the Tete Province of Mozambique, the dam is of epic proportions, being more than 170 metres / 558 feet in height and just over 300 metres / 984 feet in width, serving as the principal hydroelectric scheme currently operating in Southern Africa. This is one of three sizeable dams based on the river, with the others named the Kariba Dam and the Itezhi-Tezhi Dam. The lake itself is simply vast, rating as Africa's fourth-biggest artificial lake, and measures in at some 250 km / 155 miles long by 38 km / 23 miles wide. Visitors are welcome, although you must arrange this in advance.
Open hours: daily - by prior arrangement
Admission: free

Mozambique Island (Ilha de Mocambique)

Address: Ilha de Mocambique, Mozambique, MZ, Africa
A former capital, the Ilha de Mocambique is a fascinating mix of Portuguese and Muslim influences. The island's main tourist attractions include the museum based in the Governor's Residence (Palacio Govierno), the old stone town in the north, and the town of Makuti in the south. This tiny island has now been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with most residents being based in Makuti, where they live in traditional reed houses. The island's historic buildings include the Palace and Chapel of Sao Paulo (now used as a museum), the Museum of Sacred Art and several churches and mosques. Conveniently, the island can be easily accessed via a bridge from the mainland.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free