Ribeira Brava, Cape Verde

Ribeira Brava is a city[2] on the island of São Nicolau, Cape Verde. It is the seat of the Ribeira Brava Municipality. Its population was 1,936 at the 2010 census.[1] The town is situated in the valley of the river Ribeira Brava, east of the main mountain range of the island. The name of the river (and the town) is Portuguese for "rough stream", referring to the violent behaviour of the river during rains. The city has a colonial look with Portuguese style buildings, charming parks and gardens, small winding streets, and steep hills.

Ribeira Brava
Town square in Ribeira Brava
Town square in Ribeira Brava
Ribeira Brava is located in Cape Verde
Ribeira Brava
Ribeira Brava
Coordinates: 16°36′54″N 24°17′56″W / 16.615°N 24.299°W / 16.615; -24.299Coordinates: 16°36′54″N 24°17′56″W / 16.615°N 24.299°W / 16.615; -24.299
CountryCape Verde
IslandSão Nicolau
MunicipalityRibeira Brava
Civil parishNossa Senhora do Rosário
 • Total1,936


Ribeira Brava was founded in 1653, when the older settlement Porto de Lapa, 8 km (5.0 mi) to the east on the south coast, had been abandoned due to pirate attacks.[3]: 16  It was the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santiago de Cabo Verde between 1786 and 1943.[3]: 28  The Seminário-Liceu, founded in Ribeira Brava in 1866 and abolished in 1917, was an important center of higher education in the archipelago.[4] From 1931 political prisoners from Portugal were held in the building.[3]: 29 

View of the Valley of Ribeira Brava


Year Population
1990[5] 1899
2010[1] 1936


The Preguiça Airport lies 3 km southeast of Ribeira Brava. The main ferry port is at Tarrafal de São Nicolau.


  1. ^ a b c "2010 Census results". Instituto Nacional de Estatística Cabo Verde (in Portuguese). 24 November 2016.
  2. ^ Cabo Verde, Statistical Yearbook 2015, Instituto Nacional de Estatística, p. 32-33
  3. ^ a b c Inventário dos recursos turísticos do município de Ribeira Brava de São Nicolau, Direcção Geral do Turismo
  4. ^ Thevenod, Alexis D. "Linguistic Legacies and Postcolonial Identities in West Africa". Portuguese Literary & Culture Studies. 27: 128. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  5. ^ Cape Verde, www.citypopulation.de