This building and its annexes house the Edo State High Court, as well as the offices of the state judiciary. Several parts of the facade bear relief work by Ben Osawe (1931-2007). His three-story rendering is linear and geometric in conception,…

The Public Works Department (PWD) played a major role in early and later Anglophone colonial architecture and utilities. Although operative in the Ghana's coastal area as early as 1850, the PWD's Kumase presence did not commence until about half a…

The Residency was the home of the British colonial Resident in Kumase, initially sited next to the Fort, the administrative and military center. First erected temporarily in 1895/96 from wood, by 1896 it had transformed into a three-story stone…

In 1817, Asantehene Osei Tutu Kwame Asiba Bonsu relayed his dreams of a new palace to Bowdich, the first European to reach Kumase. The structure would have a brass roof and be built on ivory columns, with gold and silver lining the windows and door.…

The Asantehene ruled the Asante Empire from his residence in Kumase, but lack of archaeological work at the capital means our knowledge of palace structure and location are limited before the 19th century. In 1817, when Bowdich became the first…

When the British allowed Asantehene Prempeh I to return from exile in the Seychelles Islands and resume his position as "Kumasihene" (a term that attempted to limit his sovereignty to Kumase), their former actions left him no palace to return to.…

Ring Road is one of Benin City's busiest intersections, with major roads such as Akpakpava, Airport, Sapele, Forestry, Old Sakpoba, and other streets running off the roundabout in spoke-like fashion. In the middle stands the National Museum, Benin…

The Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre, designed by Nigerian artist Demas Nwoko, is centrally located in Benin City near the palace. Benin's premier venue for plays, video debuts, and other performances, it also hosts weddings, symposia, other social…

Benin City's National Museum was, in 1944, the second museum to be established in the country, under the auspices of Oba Akenzua II. He first hosted a collection of antiquities in the palace, some of which had been uncovered during 20th-century royal…

St. Matthew's Cathedral is part of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, and the oldest surviving church in Benin. It opened in 1902, just after the Church Missionary Society (CMS) established itself in the city. The land for the church was…

Chief Nosa Isekhure, the hereditary chief priest of the Oba, belongs to the Ihogbe guild, the palace group that tends the royal ancestors. The Erimwi-Idu royal ancestral shrine was erected in his home for convenient prayer centuries ago, as was an…

The Benin palace (eguae) shares many contemporary elements with royal accommodations worldwide: air conditioning, electricity, electronics, and a glamorous new facade–an innovation of the current monarch, Oba Ewuare II. Altars to the monarchs of the…

Benin still shows the remains of two ancient enclosure walls with exterior ditches, known as iya in Edo, and "moat" in English. Parts of the earthen walls were up to 65 feet tall and originally covered with thorny bushes. The inner iya delineated the…