Kisangani (kēsangäˈnē) [key], formerly Stanleyville, city (1996 est. pop. 500,000), capital of Orientale province, N central Congo (Kinshasa), a port on the Congo River. The city is the terminus of steamer navigation on the Congo from Kinshasa and is a transportation center for NE Congo. It is on a short rail line (to Ubundi) that skirts the Boyoma Falls. Manufactures include metal goods, furniture, and beer, and cotton and rice are shipped from the city. Kisangani has an international airport and hydroelectricity is produced on a nearby tributary of the Congo.
Founded in 1883 by the explorer Henry M. Stanley and originally located on a nearby island in the river, the city, as Stanleyville, became the stronghold of Patrice Lumumba in the late 1950s. After the assassination of Lumumba in 1961, Antoine Gizenga set up a government there that rivaled the central government in Leopoldville (now Kinshasa). Gizenga's regime was quashed in 1962, but in 1964, 1966, and 1967 the city was the site of temporarily successful revolts against the central government. Kisangani has a campus of the National Univ. of the Congo and a museum.