Abidjan, Ivory Coast » City Info » History

After Grand-Bassam and Bingerville, Abidjan was the third city to be declared the capital of the Ivory Coast. Today Yamoussoukro is the official capital of Ivory Coast, and Bingerville now forms a part of its suburbs. Today's Abidjan was also situated nearby, and from the viewpoint of commercial growth, the area was more profitable and preferable. The Petit-Bassam Wharf, which we today know as Port Bouët, expanded considerably compared to the Grand-Bassam Wharf, which was the chief economic access until then.

Even while development plans for Bingerville were ongoing, in 1904, Abidjan became the primary port for all Ivory Coast colonies, especially for European goods trade.

On August 10, 1933, the capital was shifted from Bingerville to Abidjan, resulting in the shifting of many Tchaman villages to Adjame, situated to the north of Plateau. This place became the main point of the Tchaman community. The loss of the "Sacred Drum" became a focal point for blackmailing the Tchaman community, ensuing in forced participation in constructing the Abidjan-Niger Railway system.

Initially, the villagers of Dugbeyo formed their base in the central district of the Abidjan metropolitan area, which lies to the south of the Plateau District. Later on, in 1934, it became the district of Treichville, named in honour of Marcel Trench-Laplène, who is considered to be the founder of Ivory Coast. The past location of Dugbeyo village is now a bus and ferry terminal and the commercial street 'Avenue Charles de Gaulle'.

Abidjan was also designed in the way the European colonies were designed, using colonial guiding procedures.

While the rulers or colonists lived in The Plateau, the city population or the colonized people resided in the north part. The two areas were separated by Gallieni Military Barracks, where today's Law Courts are positioned.

The Plateau and Treichville were connected via a floating bridge at place du pont Houphouët Boigny in 1931. In the same year, Abidjan got its first street addresses which were changed in 1964 at the impulse of Mayor Conan Kanga.

The Vidri Canal was built in 1951 to connect the sea and the Ébrié Lagoon to access the Port of Abidjan easily. But this led to a drop in the temperatures of the hot waters of the Lagoon.

When the country achieved independence in 1960, the colonial cities became the administration, political, and business centres. The area of Treichville was inhabited mainly by the Europeans and the rich people from Abidjan.