The Benin Kingdom

Historical sites in the Benin Kingdom

The Oba Royal Palace

The Oba Royal Palace with its unique traditional architecture and works of the arts was first built about 1255 AD by Oba Ewedo. This ancient royal palace is centrally located near the king's square in Benin City. It was rebuilt By Oba Eweka II {1914AD-1932AD} after the 1897 infamous British punitive expedition destroyed the former palace.It attracts a lot of visitors from far and near all year round.

Emotan Statue

Emotan Status
The statue of the stately woman, clad in the traditional wrapper and a headgear associated with the Benin royalty, stands opposite the Oba market in Benin City. The statue was erected in honor of Emotan, a patriotic woman who traded in foodstuff at the very spot where the statue stands, in the 15th century.

The Benin Moat (Iya)

Benin Moat
The Benin moat, also known traditionally as Iya, is the largest man-made earthworks in the world. It is one of the wonders of the world. It predates the use of modern earth-moving equipment or technology in these parts. The moat encircles the old perimeter precincts of the City and was constructed as a defensive barrier in times of war.

Holy Aruosa Cathedral

This is the oldest church in Nigeria .It was built in the 15th century. It was situated in Akpakpava Street in the ancient city of Benin. Aruosa {Church of Benin} is the Benin's version of Church of England or the Dutch reformed church. The Portuguese brought Christianity to the imperial Benin kingdom in the 15th century during the reign of Oba Esigie {about 1504-1550} and during this period, missionaries were sent from Portugal to establish churches in the kingdom.

Gelegele Fountains & Historical Port of Benin Site

The first contact with any European was made by Oba Ewuare the Great {About 1440AD} when Ruy De Sequeira visited Benin City in 1472. The Portuguese came via the Atlantic Ocean and they finally landed in Gele Gele Sea Port in Benin Nation. The Gele Gele Sea Port was from then onward used predominantly for their legitimate trade with Benin Nation. It is also recorded that slaves (illegitimate trade) were also conveyed from the region via the Gele Gele Sea Port to Europe.

Statue of the Giant Arhuanran Of Udo

Statue of the Giant Arhuanran Of Udo
This giant statue was sculptured to the memory of Arhuanran {Goliath type stature}, a very powerful warrior and ruler of Udo. Oba Esigie {About 1504-1550AD} ascended the Benin throne at the peak of a war threat from Udo. Esigie in Benin City and Arhuanran in the town of Udo, about 20 miles from Benin City to the northwest.

Egedege N' Okaro

This is the first storey-building in Benin Kingdom, built in 1906 by High Chief Osawe Iyamu, the then Inne of Benin. It is widely regarded as the second oldest story-building in Nigeria after the first one at Badagry, Lagos built in 1845 by white missionaries. Egedege N' Okaro is Situated at House No 30, Erie Street, off Sakponba Road,in ancient city of Benin. According to historical accounts, Egedege N'Okaro was the first residential one-storey structure to be built in the ancient city.