The city of Ribeira Brava is the city that constitutes the seat of the Ribeira Brava Municipality in the island of, Cape Verde. The name Ribeira Brava is portuguese for "rough streams". It takes its name from several ‘rough’ streams or floods that occur yearly in the Ribeira Brava valey as rain water from the surrounding mountains violently pours down into the dry river-bed. This name however shares a historical link to the municipality of Ribeira Brava, in the the Portuguese Autonomous Region of Madeira which shares similar geological resemblance.
The city is sandwiched between two mountains, Monte Fora to the north and Caleijão mountains to the south, while under the shadow of the imposing Mountain of Monte Gordo in the west. The streets and buildings of Ribeira Brava stretches hundreds of metres within the valley. Though only officialy elevated to the status of a city in 2010, Ribeira Brava serves as the center of business and trade for the surrounding areas from the beginning of its founding, in the 17th Century . Its population is 4,982. It was one of the oldest towns in Cape Verde and was for many years the seat of the Roman Catholic Church in the islands. The city has a colonial look with Portuguese style buildings, charming parks and gardens, small winding streets, and steep hills with stunning views. Ribeira Brava is linked with roads to Tarrafal de São Nicolau on the southwestern part of the island, south to its nearest port Campo and to the eastern half of the island as well. The city was founded in the sixteenth century after locals settled here to escape continuous pirate attacks by the likes of Sir Francis Drake. Ribeira Brava is famous for being the bedrock of Cape Verdean intellect in the 19th century as there you find the famous Seminário Liceu São José which for many years was the center of higher education in the archipelago.