Douala, Cameroon, the nation's largest city and principal seaport. It lies on an inlet of the Gulf of Guinea, about 130 miles (210 km) west of Yaoundé, the national capital. Douala handles most of Cameroon's foreign trade and is the leading industrial center. Several railways converge here. There is also an international airport. Douala was founded by the Portuguese as a trading post in 1640, but remained small until the period of German colonial rule, 1884–1919. France administered the city until 1960, when Cameroon became independent.