Stanley, formerly known as Port Stanley, is the capital of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). Founded in 1843, the town is located on the island of East Falkland. Prior to the construction of the Panama Canal, Stanley was a major repair stop for boats traveling through the Straits of Magellan.
Stanley, formerly known as Port Stanley, is the capital of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), the Spanish name for the archipelago. Founded in 1843, the town is located on the island of East Falkland, on a north-facing slope in one of the wettest parts of the islands. As of the 2016 census, the town had a population of 2,460.
Prior to the construction of the Panama Canal, Stanley was a major repair stop for boats traveling through the Straits of Magellan. The rough waters and intense storms found at the tip of the continent forced many ships to Stanley Harbour, and the ship repair industry helped to drive the island economy.
Later, support for the Antarctic sealing and whaling boats became a major industry. Today, the vast majority of the town's residents are employed by the government, with tourism also being a major source of employment; on days when two or more large cruise ships dock in the town tourists may outnumber the local residents.
Stanley was occupied by Argentine troops for about 10 weeks during the Falklands War in 1982. The Argentines renamed the town Puerto Argentino, and although Spanish names for places in the Falklands were historically accepted as alternatives, this one is considered to be extremely offensive by many islanders.
Stanley suffered considerable damage during the war, from both the Argentine occupation and the British naval shelling of the town, which killed three civilians. After the British secured the high ground around the town the Argentines surrendered with no fighting in the town itself. The beaches and land around it were heavily mined and some areas remain marked minefields.
Since the Falklands War, Stanley has benefited from the growth of the fishing and tourism industries in the Islands. Stanley itself has developed greatly in that time, with the building of a large amount of residential housing, particularly to the east of the town center. Stanley is now more than a third bigger than it was in 1982.
Stanley is the main shopping center on the islands and the hub of East Falkland's road network. Attractions include the Falkland Islands Museum, Government House – built in 1845 and home to the Governor of the Falkland Islands – and a golf course, as well as a whale-bone arch, a totem pole, several war memorials and the shipwrecks in its harbor.;
The climate of Stanley is classified as a subpolar oceanic climate (Cfc), as the mean temperature is greater than 10 °C (50 °F) for two months of the year, bordering very closely on a tundra climate. Unlike typical tundra climates, however, the winters are very mild and vegetation grows there that normally couldn't in a climate this close to being a polar climate.
Gypsy Cove, known for its Magellanic penguins, and Cape Pembroke, the easternmost point of the Falklands, lie nearby. Gypsy Cove is four miles (6 km) from Stanley and can be reached by taxi or on foot.
Today, roughly one third of the town's residents are employed by the government and tourism is also a major source of employment. On days when two or more large cruise ships dock in the town tourists frequently outnumber the local residents.