Written by Marco Ramerini. Photos by Virgilio Pena da Costa
The Fortress of São Miguel in Luanda is located near the bridge that connects the island of Luanda to the mainland, high above the hill of São Paulo. The fortress has a complex plant of polygonal-shaped with numerous bastions, and is in excellent condition.
The first fort was built in 1575 by the first Portuguese governor of Angola, Paulo Dias de Novais, the fortress was restored and reinforced in 1634 when the Portuguese fearful of an attack on Dutch rebuilt and renovated the city's defenses. Nevertheless, the city of Luanda and the fortress of São Miguel were occupied by the Dutch in 1641, they, during their period of occupation, which lasted until 1648, renamed the fortress Fort Aardenburg.
The current appearance of the fort dates from the late 17th century, when under the government of Francisco de Távora (1669-1676), the fort was rebuilt in brick, being completed with a new bulwark and two curtains. Today the fortress houses the Museum of the Armed Forces (Museu das Forças Armadas).

Luanda: Fortress of São Miguel, Luanda, Angola