Apia is the capital and the largest city of Samoa. From 1900 to 1919, it was the capital of German Samoa.
Apia was founded in the 1859s and has been the official capital of Samoa since 1959. The harbour was the site of an infamous naval standoff in 1889 when 7 ships from Germany, the US, and Britain refused to leave the harbour when a typhoon was approaching, for fear of losing face. All the ships were sunk, except for one British cruiser. Nearly 200 American and German lives were lost. During the struggle for independence in the early 1900s, organised by the Mau movement, a peaceful gathering in the town resulted in the killing of the paramount chief Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III and ten others by New Zealand police on 28 December 1929. As with most Pacific Island capitals, Apia is a little shabby and run down. Reasonably small in size and with few obvious attractions, Apia is very useful as an initial stop-off point for first time visitors to get their bearings, plan travel around the island of Upolu, organise accommodation on the beach, and recover from jet lag. The vast majority of Samoa's highlights can be found outside this town, although most are within a very short drive.