With an area of 199,567 km², the province of Tshopo is the largest in the country. On the edges of the Congo basin and the eastern mountain region, this melting pot of cultures and peoples is bordered by eight other provinces along its 3,073 km perimeter. Kisangani, the capital, occupies a central geographic position that connects the former districts of Aruwimi (from which it inherited the territories of Opala, Basoko, Isangi and Yahuma) and Stanleyville (the territories of Bafwasende, Banalia and Ubundu) that were reunited in 1932. Roads from the north-eastern part of the country meet at Kisangani, which is also the destination for roads from neighbouring provinces. This location accounts for the site’s appeal to the Arabo-Swahilis, led by Tippo Tip, and the lieutenants of King Leopold II, led by Stanley, who gave it its colonial name of Stanleyville. The unique nature of Tshopo, resulting from a local situation shaped by geopolitics, a mixed population, and the action of foreign domination, turned Stanleyville into a bastion of Congolese nationalism during decolonization. Kisangani, already unusually heterogeneous within Province-Orientale when the latter was created in 1913, distinguished itself to become a strong centre for such nationalism. Patrice Lumumba built his career in Stanleyville. His adopted city from 1944 to 1956 held no secrets from him, and he returned there in 1959 to establish and build his political base by embracing the lived experience of locals at the source. People exhausted by the lack of employment and rudimentary living conditions were quickly won over. At a time when native identity crippled political participation elsewhere in Congo, Kisangani clamoured for a national identity. From May 1959 to November 1964, the city made its mark, hosting a resistance movement against the pro-Western central authorities in Léopoldville. The Belgians managed to enlist American aid to eradicate the Lumumbists and take over Simba-occupied Stanleyville. Meanwhile, in Léopoldville, Kasa-Vubu (the head of state), Tshombe (the prime minister), and Mobutu (the head of the army) found themselves united in a common goal, thus bringing together the Congolese national army and the former Katangese Gendarmerie. A year later, on 24 November 1965, the Deuxième République began. The Congolese army’s senior officers were summoned to Léopoldville to attend a ceremony celebrating the first anniversary of the victory in Stanleyville. It served as the occasion for a coup d'état that allowed Mobutu to seize power. The image of ‘rebellious’ Kisangani, a staunch supporter of Lumumbism, initially hindered political promotion for natives of Tshopo province. At the local level, ‘distant natives’ could be seen supplanting representatives from Tshopo for positions of authority in the pro-Mobutu ‘Haut-Zaïre’ province’s quota for regional representation. In fact, the roots of the situation lay even deeper. There had always been a disconnect between colonial-era Province-Orientale’s total area of administration, which slipped beyond its grasp economically, and its trade zone found more to the east with Uganda and Kivu. While Stanleyville remained the provincial capital, it had little real control over the Uele and Ituri areas. Kisangani was always a transit zone rather than a seat of power; people passed through it rather than creating wealth there. It was above all an administrative site owing to its origins. The city emerged from the juxtaposition of labour camps rather than the formation of a natural urban agglomeration. It has always been a rural centre of exploitation for the benefit of the national economy, a city dependent on Kinshasa, except during periods of war or transport blockages that forced it to look eastward. To illustrate, the former Province-Orientale, owing to its geopolitical situation (Kisangani in Tshopo or Bunia in Ituri), served as the theatre for clashes between different rebel factions under Kabila senior and junior. Although the city is scarred economically by its political history, it remains resilient and dynamic thanks to its location and the natural resources that offer it a range of social and economic opportunities. A notable part of this monograph on Tshopo is devoted to its flora and fauna, the political and administrative construction of Kisangani and the province’s territories, its population and economy, and to numerous major events that transpired there.