The history of Nigeria can be traced back over several decades with different kingdoms reigning before the amalgamation of 1914.
Each kingdom brought their own unique blend of architectural styles, leaving behind a generous legacy of brilliant artistry. Here are some of the most splendid monuments from across the country that you must see when you visit Nigeria.
1. The ancient Kano city walls
One of the oldest monuments in Nigeria, the Kano city wall is located in the commercial heartbeat of Northern Nigeria, Kano. The impressive work built in the 11th century is 11 or 12 miles in length, 40 feet thick at the base and varying from 30 to 50 feet in height. The amazing structure was built during the reign of King Kijimazu from 1095 to 1135 AD. They were built to prevent enemies and the armies of empires that were in search of vassal states to expand and increase their royalties, from penetrating Kano.
Gates were created in specific areas of the walls, and each of them has a gatekeeper known as Sarkin Kofar and houses are provided for them and their families inside the gates or around them till today.
2. Benin Moat
Sungbo's Eredo is a 6500 kilometres square cluster of community earthworks that run for about 16,000 kilometers in the Benin rainforest zone. The core of this cluster consists of tightly packed small settlement enclosures with narrow cordons sanitaires (no-man's-lands), and date back to about the C8th A.D. On the periphery, the earthworks have larger, wider-spaced primary enclosures (including that of Benin itself), much broader cordons sanitaires and date up to about the C15th A.D.
3. National Theatre
The National Arts Theatre, a primary centre for the performing arts in Nigeria. The monument is located in Iganmu, Surulere, Lagos and was constructed in 1976 to commemorate the Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977. The National Gallery of Modern Nigerian Art is housed in a section of this building.
4. Arometa (Three White cap chiefs)
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Built by Biodun Shodeinde in 1991, the three white cap chiefs were first positioned at the point of entry to Lagos to welcome visitors.
However, it was moved to its present location in Epe. The three chiefs represent the three kinds of traditional greetings in Lagos Island. All the chiefs display clenched fists with the right hand always placed above the left. This signifies the supremacy of the right over the left.
5. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Mausoleum
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa's mausoleum contains the remains of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the first Prime Minister of independent Nigeria. The tomb was built as a monument to the man who was often referred to as the Golden Voice of Africa.
This architectural masterpiece, befitting of the former and pioneering leader of Nigeria, is breathtaking, to say the least. The gigantic walls tower up to 17ft, enclosing a modest marble structure which is the grave of the former leader.