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Ville de Dakar
Dakar urban area
Dakar urban area
Coat of arms of Dakar
Coat of arms
Location of Dakar in Senegal
Location of Dakar in Senegal
Country  Senegal
Région Dakar
Département Dakar
Settled 15th century
Communes d'arrondissement
 • City 82.38 km2 (31.81 sq mi)
 • Metro
547 km2 (211 sq mi)
 (December 31, 2005 estimate)
 • City 1,030,594
 • Density 12,510/km2 (32,400/sq mi)
 • Metro
 • Metro density 4,484/km2 (11,610/sq mi)
  Data here are for the administrative Dakar région, which matches almost exactly the limits of the metropolitan area
Time zone UTC+0 (GMT)

Dakar is the capital city of Senegal. It is on the country's Atlantic coast on the western edge of Africa. The city is a trade seaport for items leaving Africa. Dakar has a population of 1,030,594 people. The metropolitan area has about 2.45 million people living in it.

The National Assembly of Senegal and Senegal Presidential Palace are in Dakar.


The area that is now Dakar was first settled around the 15th century. In 1444, Portuguese created a colony there. By 1536, the colony was being used to as part of the slave trade. Between 1588 and 1677, the area was fought over by many countries. During this time it was under the control of the Portuguese, Dutch, English, and finally the French.

In 1857, the French built a military base here. This base was called Dakar. It was made the capital of French West Africa in 1902. Dakar was one of the major cities of the French Empire during this time. It was very important in terms of trade, military, and communications to the empire until World War II.

The city was the capital of the Mali Federation from 1959 to 1960. It then became the capital of Senegal.

Notable places

DKR Railway station
The Dakar Railway Station

Attractions in Dakar include major markets, Dakar Grand Mosque (built in 1964), Gorée Island, the IFAN Museum of West African culture, clifftop walks and beaches, and Hann Park, home to Senegal Zoo.

The town serves as a port and is home to the Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport. It is also the terminus of the Dakar-Niger railroad line.

Dakar is the finishing point of the Dakar Rally and is a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities. Cheikh Anta Diop University, also known as the University of Dakar, was established in 1957.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Dakar para niños

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