The city of Sao Tome, located on the northeast coast of Sao Tome island, was founded in 1485 when the Portuguese, led by Álvaro Caminha, settled there, aiming to explore sugar cane cultivation.
Sao Tome is one of the smallest capitals in the world, due to its physical and populational dimension. Nearly one-third of its population lives in the capital.
As the rest of the colonies, Sao Tome preserves a lot of colonial architecture, with ancient buildings dating to the 16th century, as one can see in São Sebastião Fortress, nowadays the national museum. The city center, where the main trade activities take place, consists of small alleys, some of which are very busy during the day, hindering road traffic.
The city of Sao Tome is the administrative, cultural and economic center of the country. The city also has the main port of the country, taking over the exports of cocoa and bananas.