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Benin > Activities > The Abomey kingdom

The Abomey Kingdom


The Abomey kingdom
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This trip down the historical path will trace the kingdom’s roots to 1625 and you can experience the royalty by visiting the royal palaces of Abomey. Built between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, these palaces are a group of earthen structures built by the Fon people and they now form one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Look out from the palace and picture the town when it was surrounded by a mud wall with a circumference estimated at six miles. It would have been impossible to enter this Abomey kingdom as it was protected by six gates, guards and a five foot deep ditch that was filled with a dense growth of prickly acacia. Even in past times, the stronghold was protected and inside the walls the villagers were busy in fields, royal palaces and the market-place. Abomey was destroyed in 1892 when Behanzin, the last independent reigning king of Dahomey, lost the battle against French colonial forces and set fire to Abomey before he fled.

Take a tour of the town to see the rebuilt structure and railroad constructed by the French colonial administration. Royal palaces of Abomey are a unique reminder of this vanished kingdom and Ghézo’s throne is a testimony to the rituals of that time when voodoo was prevalent and sacrifices were commonplace. Sit on the crown of human skulls and ponder the past.

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