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Fogo (Portuguese for "fire") is an island in the Sotavento group of Cape Verdemarker. It is the most prominent of the group, rising to nearly 3,000 m (10,000 ft) above sea level at Mount Fogomarker.


The island is located between the islands of Santiagomarker and Bravamarker. Practically the whole island is an active volcano that has been periodically active, last erupting in 1995, forming a new crater called Pico Pequeno. Its largest feature is a 9 km wide caldera, which has walls 1 km high. The caldera has a breach in its eastern rim, and a large peak rises in the centre. The central cone Pico forms the highest point of the island and its summit is about 100 m higher than the surrounding wall of the caldera. Lava from the volcano has reached the eastern coast of the island within historical times.

A small village, called Chã das Caldeiras, exists at the base of the volcano, and the residents are periodically evacuated during eruptions.

The island's main town is São Filipe, near which is an airport. First settled in the 1480s, it is largely an agricultural island. The islands also houses schools, a gymnasium, banks, a post office, some hotels and squares (praças).

Fogo has fertile land in the southwest with a slope of about 10 to 15 degrees. The north and the east are slopey. The entire island is a seamount, called the Cadamosto Seamount, and the surrounding ocean can be as deep as 5,300 m at a distance of 5 km from the shoreline. The exception is to the west, but it is connected with another seamount further west in Brava.

The slopes in the northeastern part are green and grassy all-year round. The rest of the mountain is dry and barren. One of the southernmost islands in Cape Verde, Fogo receives the most precipitation. The creeks and streams are dry all-year round.

São Filipe's buildings use classic Portuguese colonial architecture. Mosteiros in the northeast is the island's second most important town.

A violent eruption took place in 1680. The mountain of the island was visible over hundreds of kilometres and lasted for a few years. It was during this eruption that the island earned its name.

Image:Mount fogo.jpg|
Mount Fogomarker
Satellite image of the island of Fogo facing SSW.
Image:Fogo, Cape Verde Islands.jpg|
Natural colour satellite image of Fogo.
File:Fogo, 2009.jpg|
Cha caldera and Pico cone, Fogo.
NASAmarker satellite image, 2009.


Fogo was discovered in 1460 by a Genovesemarker captain António Noli and was first called São Filipe meaning Saint Philip in Portuguese.

The Portuguese settled the island in 1500. The island used to have slavery. Emigration started in 1850, mainly to North America. The 1910 civil revolution in Portugal drew aristocracy and large landowners back to Portugal and left civilians behind. A small museum on Fogo explains many of these connections.


The economy of the island is based on agriculture and fishing, with coffee and wine among the main products. Many private households live off remittances from emigrants in the US and other countries as the island has a substantial diaspora. Many emigrants send some money to their relatives in the island even if the senders and receivers no longer know each other. Tourism is steadily becoming popular. The volcano is the island's major attraction but many visitors also come to see relatives. The historic town of São Filipe and Chã das Caldeiras in the volcanic crater receive the bulk of visitors.


Parishes and Settlements


As in the rest of Cape Verde, Portuguese is the official language but in daily life people speak the Fogo dialect of Cape Verdean Creole.

Notable residents

Sporting teams


External links

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