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Santa Carolina

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Santa Carolina
8. Februar 2015
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Santa Carolina Island – named Xidzene by locals and Paradise Island by foreigners – is a tiny 2 by 0.3 miles island, one of the five islands making up the Mozambique Bazaruto Archipelago. This incredibly beautiful island is surrounded by white beaches and coral reefs close to the shore. In the 1950's Joaquim Alves – a Portuguese businessman – controlled the coastline from Beira to Vilanculos. He married a Mozambican lady called Dona Ana and – as testament to his love – gave her the first hotel in Vilanculos, which still today is named after her. Then he focused his efforts on tiny Santa Carolina Island where he built a grand 250-room hotel in 1952. The old Art Deco style Hotel Santa Carolina with its own chapel was the ideal venue for honeymooners. Wealthy Rhodesians and international celebrities partied in this tiny Mozambican paradise. It is said that Bob Dylan composed his song “Mozambique” on the piano of the hotel bar. Towards Mozambique’s quest for independence and during the civil war in the late seventies, the hotel was abandoned and decayed.

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