Saint Louis (in Wolof, Ndar, also known as Saint-Louis du Sénégal) is a city located in the northwest of the country, next to the mouth of the Senegal River and is also the capital of the department, and of the region of the same name. .The heart of the old colonial city is located on a narrow island (barely two kilometers long and about 400 m wide) in the Senegal River, 25 kilometers from its mouth. At this point, the river is still separated from the Atlantic Ocean to the west by a spit of sand, the Langue de Barbarie, which is also inhabited (neighborhoods of Ndar Tout and Guet Ndar).The city was founded in 1659 by sailors from Dieppe (Normandy) and was baptized with that name in honor of the King of France "Saint Louis" and also, because he was his ancestor, of the reigning sovereign Louis XIV.It was the first city founded by Europeans in West Africa and became the political capital of the French colony and French West Africa until 1902, when it became the capital of Senegal and Mauritania. It remained an important French trading post until 1957.The island of Saint Louis, nicknamed the "African Venice", has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. In Saint -Louis carried out an ambitious program of renovation of its old buildings and began to transform the warehouses into restaurants and hotels.The city preserves many typical houses from the colonial era: with its lime façade , its double clay roof, its wooden balconies and its wrought iron railings.Also, it is worth highlighting the metal bridge built by Nouguier, Kessler et Cie and falsely attributed to Gustave Eiffel, which connects the continental part with the island of Saint Louis.Jazz music, brought by American soldiers during World War II, gave birth to an entire generation of African jazzmen. The Saint-Louis International Jazz Festival was created in 1992 and was unveiled at the beginning of May 2004, its twelfth edition.Saint-Louis lost all its importance at the time of independence France, in favor of the new capital Dakar, which also attracted all the intellectuals and all its officials.The fishing community of Saint-Louis is one of the most important in West Africa and includes to more than 4,000 crews. Guet Ndar is the fishermen's neighborhood, where more than 45,000 people live, on a narrow spit of sand, in an overcrowded situation. Today it is the most important economic activity in the city.

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