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Libreville Capital and largest city of Gabon, w central Africa, at the mouth of the River Gabon, on the Gulf of Guinea. Founded by the French in 1843, and named Libreville (Fr. Freetown) in 1849, it was initially a refuge for escaped slaves. The city expanded with the development of the country's minerals and is now also an administrative centre. Other industries: timber (hardwoods), palm oil and rubber. Pop. (2002 est.) 541,000.