Following independence from Portugal in 1975 and the subsequent reorganisation of urban areas, Polana, due north of the Ponta Vermelha promontory, together with Sommerschield to the northeast, became the de facto city centre. Ten-fifteen floor buildings blend in among two-storey detached houses hidden beneath blooming acacias, frangipani and bougainvillea. Houses are made of concrete and/or red bricks; they date from the 1930s and 1940s, have tiled roofs and are painted yellow, old rose pink or white a departure from colonial times, when all houses had to be white. The areas contain among other things the modern Polana Shopping Centre, the historical Hotel Polana, built in the 1920s, the Cinema Xenon, a number of restaurants, taxi ranks, well-stocked farmacies and the most efficient and exclusive clinics in the country. These include the Clinica da Sommerchield (Rua Pereira Lago 52, tel. 00258 21 49428), considered the best in town. Polana is also home to English and international schools. Chapas run along Avenida Julius Nyerere and its perpendiculars, Avenida 24 de Julho, Avenida Eduardo Mondlane and Avenida Mao Tze Tung, but otherwise public transport services in these areas are poor. The roads are in relatively good condition and there is on-street parking for private vehicles. Cars can be minded by a guarda for a small fee.
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