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For the parish in Portugal, see Mindelo, Portugal

Mindelo (Mindel’ in Cape Verdean Creole), is a port city in the northern part of the island of São Vicente in Cape Verde. Mindelo is also the seat of the parish of Nossa Senhora da Luz, and this island's municipality. The city is home to 92.6% of the entire island's population.



There was a coal station in Mindelo during the times of steam navigation by the British. Mindelo is a cosmopolitan city. The Randall coal company was established at the shipping routes of Europe, South Africa, India, Australia and Africa and South America. In the beginning of 1875, the firm named Cory Brothers plummeted coal prices which increased the number of ships to 669 per year in 1879. When more ports were built in Dakar, Senegal and in the Canary Islands, the number of ships declined but increased to serve about 2,000 ships per year in the 20th century. In 1952, the coal camps were eliminated as boats switched to diesel.

In 1885, Mindelo was the switching station for the first Trans-Atlantic telegraph cable. In 1912, Mindelo became an important cable station in the world.

Mindelo became the cultural capital of the Portuguese-speaking country/state along with the Lusophone capital in 2003. Mindelo is also considered as the cultural capital of Cape Verde.


The town is surrounded by mountains. A tan-colored deforested mountain lies to the east, and the smaller Vigia mountain defines the west edge of the town. To the south lies a range of brown deforested mountains Monte Cara, and the Morro Branco peak lies to the northwest. The town is crossed by a river named Ribeira Julião.

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