One of the most important monuments to be found on Cape Verde’s island of Santiago, the Pelourinho stands as a stark reminder of the slave trade which used to exist here. The Pelourinho was a symbol of municipal power and slavery; history differs as to when it was erected, but it is believed to be either 1512 or 1520, making it one of the oldest monuments in the whole of Cape Verde.
Restored at the end of the 1600s, slaves who were considered rebellious were publicly punished at the Pelourinho at the time of slavery. It is one of the most visited sites on any guided tour of the island of Santiago. The surrounding square offers charming views of the waterfront and, despite the Pelourinho’s sad history, the area around the monument is a very popular place for visitors to enjoy walks. It is also very easy to get to the pebble beach from here.