Harare (formerly Salisbury), estimated population 1,485,615 (1992), is the capital of Zimbabwe. The city is Zimbabwe's largest city and its administrative, commercial, and communications center. It is a trade center for tobacco, maize, cotton, and citrus fruits. Manufactures include textiles, steel, and chemicals. Gold is mined in the area.
The city was founded in 1890 as a fort by the Pioneer Column, a mercenary force organized by Cecil Rhodes. The city was originally named Salisbury after the 3d marquess of Salisbury, then British prime minister. It became a city in 1935. Salisbury was the capital of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland from 1953 to 1963. After Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980, the name of the city was changed to Harare in 1982.
Harare is famous for is beautiful jacaranda lined streets, especially in the low density "Avenues" suburbs to the immediate north of the city centre.
Recently Harare has been adversely affected by the political and economic crisis that is currently plaguing Zimbabwe, after the contested 2002 Presidential elections.
Harare is the site of the University of Zimbabwe.