Apia

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Coordinates: 13°50′S 171°46′W / 13.833°S 171.767°W / -13.833; -171.767

Apia is the capital and the largest city of Samoa. The city is located on the central north coast of Upolu, Samoa's second largest island. Apia is the only 'city' in Samoa and falls within the political district (itūmālō) of Tuamasaga.

The Apia Urban Area has a population of 37,708 (2006 Census)[3] and is generally referred to as the City of Apia. The geographic boundaries of Apia Urban Area is mainly from Letogo village to the new industrialized region of Apia known as Vaitele.

Contents

History

Apia was originally a small village (1800 population is 304),[3] from which the country's capital took its name. Apia village still exists within the larger modern capital of Apia which has grown into a sprawling urban area with many villages. Like every other settlement in the country, Apia village has its own matai chiefly leaders and fa'alupega (geneaology & customary greetings) according to fa'a Samoa.

The modern capital Apia was founded in the 1850s and has been the official capital of Samoa since 1959.[4]

The harbor was also the site of an infamous 15 March 1889 naval standoff in which 7 ships from Germany, the US, and Britain refused to leave harbor while a typhoon was clearly approaching, lest the first moved would lose face. All the ships were sunk, except the British cruiser Calliope, which barely managed to leave port at 1 mile per hour and ride out the storm. Nearly 200 American and German lives were lost, as well as 6 ships sunk or beyond repair. [1]

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