Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Benguela armazém

Interesting metalwork at the entrance of the armazém

About two weeks ago my friend and I went to Benguela for the day. I go to Benguela quite a bit for work, rarely for pleasure. I’ve become a Lobito snob- our beaches are better, our restaurants are better- what could Benguela offer that Lobito couldn’t? Well, according to my friend and Benguela resident, Nancy of Nancy’s English School, the answer is: a Chinese restaurant/massage parlor! It’s not open yet, but I’m anxious to try it.

I gave my friend the same tour that Nancy had given me a few months back. This time we poked around the old armazém (warehouse). Rumor has it that the armazém was a slave warehouse. I asked the artist at the local art school about this and he said it wasn’t true- that a lot of people think it was literally a building with slaves just crammed in there, waiting to be bought. He says it was more like a passage point, where they were held after being brought in from the interior. He did confirm that the docks were in fact used by slave ships heading to Brazil.

Here are some pictures of the armazém. Note the current day use as a garage for someone’s car. There’s a sign outside the building that says Museo de Arqueologia AUDITÓRIO (Archeology Musem: Auditorium). Guess not!
Museum? Or...
Parking lot?

Remnants of the old slave docks

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