Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the nation's largest city, capital, and federal district. It is on the Congo River across from Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of the Congo. Kinshasa is the Democratic Republic of the Congo's largest inland port and transportation center and one of the country's main industrial centers. It produces textiles, clothing, beverages, food, and wood products. The National University, founded in 1954 as Lovanium University, is here.
The city was founded in the 1880's by Henry M. Stanley and was named Leopoldville for King Leopold II of Belgium. It became capital of the Belgian Congo in 1926 and of the independent Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1960. It was renamed Kinshasa in 1966. In the late 1990's the city experienced periods of lawlessness as competing rebel factions fought for control of the country.