The Roman Empire wasn’t built in a day, and neither were most other fabulous realms of powerful men in history. But sometimes power is seized in a hurry, and new fortunes are squandered in a hurry. You may recall Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled the Republic of the Congo/Congo-Léopoldville/Zaire (now named the Democratic Republic of the Congo) from 1965 to 1997. You are less likely to recall Gbadolite, Mobutu’s ancestral home.
Deep in the rainforest, more than 1,000 km from Kinshasa, the capital of Democratic Republic of the Congo, lies the decaying city of Gbadolite, home to nearly two hundred thousand people. Fifty years ago, Gbadolite was a just small village of 1,500 with mud brick houses. It wasn’t even marked on maps, until Mobutu Sese Seko became the president. Within a decade, Gbadolite was transformed into a sprawling city with an airport, five-star hotels, supermarkets, hospitals with high tech facilities, and palatial homes for Mobutu. All of these are in ruins today swallowed by the jungle.
Read how the city flourished in a hurry and was wrecked even more quickly at Amusing Planet.
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