Cidade Velha (Portuguese for "old city"), or simply Sidadi in Cape Verdean Creole, is a city located 15 km from Praia (Cape Verde's capital) on the island of Santiago. It is the oldest settlement in Cape Verde and used to serve as the capital of Cape Verde. Once called Ribeira Grande, its name was changed to Cidade Velha so to avoid confusion with another Ribeira Grande on another island. It is the seat of the Ribeira Grande de Santiago municipality. Located off of Africa's northwest coast, this city center was the first European colonial settlement in the tropics. Some of the meticulously planned original design of the site is still intact, from a royal fortress to two towering churches to a 16th-century town square. Today, Cidade Velha is an Atlantic shipping stop and center for Creole culture.