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La Cité de l'Indépendance
The City of Independence
Country Flag of Haiti.svg Haiti
Department Artibonite
Arrondissement Gonaïves
6 m (20 ft)
 • Commune 300,000
 • Metro
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)

Gonaïves (Kréyòl: Gonayiv) is a port city in western Haiti. It is the capital city of the Artibonite Département.

The city is on the coast of the Gonaïve Bay, on the northeast of the Gulf of Gonâve, about 171 km north of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. It is also the chief town of an arrondissement (a part of a department) with the same name. The arrondissement has three communes (a commune is like a municipality): Gonaïves, Ennery and Estère.


Centennial Palace in Gonaïves, Haiti c 1904
The Centennial Palace was built in Gonaïves to celebrate 100 years of Haitian independence

In 1802, the Battle of Ravine-à-Couleuvres, an important battle of the Haitian Revolution, was fought near Gonaïves.

Gonaïves is also known as City of Independence because it was there that Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared Haiti independent from France on 1 January 1804.

Floods produced by rains from tropical storms and hurricanes devastated the city and many people died in September 2004 (Hurricane Jeanne), and again four years later, in August-September 2008 (Hurricane Hanna).


Gonaïves is an important commercial centre. The agricultural products of the region (coffee, cotton, sugar and bananas) are sent to other countries and other parts of Haiti from the harbor of the city.



  • Radio Explosion FM
  • Radio Continentale FM
  • Radio Independence
  • Radio Kiss FM
  • Radio Mega Max FM
  • Radio Provinciale FM
  • Radio Pyramide FM
  • Radio Trans-Artibonite
  • Radio Gonaives FM
  • Radio Etincelle FM
  • Radio Trans Atlantique F.M

Department capitals of Haiti Flag of Haiti
Cap-HaïtienFort-LibertéGonaïvesHincheJacmelJérémieLes CayesMiragoânePort-au-PrincePort-de-Paix

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