The City of Benin, also called Edo, is the capital of Edo State, southern Nigeria. In addition to being the largest city of Edo state, it is also, one of the most ancient cities in Africa. Previously known as Benin Kingdom, the city was once a powerful and thriving African Empire. Here are a few things to know about Benin city Nigeria.
The history of Benin
The city is a standout amongst the most antiquated in the entire of Africa. It stands at the centre of the remaining parts of what was at one time an amazing and popular African Empire during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Portuguese initially descended upon Benin City in 1485. As such the city amassed significant wealth through trade in ivory and pepper, with the Europeans. Many present-day languages in the area still have traces of Portuguese influences.
On 17 February 1897, Benin City fell to the British. Subsequently, the catch of Benin paved the way for British military occupation of the region. Following Nigeria’s independence from British control in 1960, Benin City turned into the capital of Mid-Western Region. The city later turned into the state capital of Ẹdo State when Bendel was separated into Delta and Edo states in 1991.
The city of Benin is situated approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of the Benin River. The city is also located 320 kilometers by road east of Lagos.
Firstly, Benin City is home to a portion of Nigeria’s organisations of higher education. To be specific, the University of Benin, Ambrose Alli University, as well as, Wellspring University. The city is also the home to several notable high schools. These include Immaculate Conception College, Garrick Memorial Secondary School, Winrose Secondary School, and Oba Ewuare Grammar School.
From its rich social attractions to its brilliant celebrations and incredibly famous art, Benin City has it all. Benin City is additionally the home of one of the most sustained monarchies on the planet. The Binis, as they are affectionately known, also have worldwide acclaim for their sculpturing, casting and art skills. Here are a few things to see and do when in this city.
1. The royal palace of the Oba of Benin
The royal palace of the Oba of Benin is a superb architectural marvel. What’s more, the palace is one of Nigeria’s UNESCO Listed Heritage sites. The palace also holds immense traditional and cultural significance. Lastly, the Oba of Benin as the traditional ruler of the Edo people resides in the palace.
2. Benin City National Museum
The Benin City National Museum is a place of great significance is safeguarding, preserving and showcasing some of Nigeria’s terracotta, bronze, and cast iron artifacts. The museum holds three exhibitions and it is also one of the biggest historical centers in Nigeria.
3. Okomu National Park
The Okomu National Park covers 1,082 square kilometers and is also among the smallest of forest reserves in Nigeria. The park houses buffaloes, leopards, pangolins and antelopes. In addition, it is also home to red river hogs, bush baby, drinkers, and chimpanzees.
Trade and industry
Benin City is the center of Nigeria’s rubber production. Additionally, Benin City has several processing plants. Furthermore, oil production is also a significant economic contributor to the region.