It is 57 years to the day that Ivory Coast (or Côte d’Ivoire, as it likes to be called) gained independence from the French, led by Félix Houphouët-Boigny, affectionately known as The Old One. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up some interesting tidbits about the nation on Africa’s western flank.
1. It boasts the largest church in the world
The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro surpasses even St Peter’s Basilica, with an exterior area of 30,000 square metres. Finished in 1990, its design is said to have been inspired by its Vatican City sibling, with a hefty dose of Renaissance and Baroque style. It can hold about 18,000 worshipers, though is very rarely full.
2. Its most famous son is…
Didier Drogba, of course.