The Royal Palace of the Oba of Benin
The palace, which was declared one of Nigeria‘s UNESCO Listed Heritage sites in 1999, is an architectural wonder. The Oba of Benin is the traditional ruler of the Edo people, and his palace has sacred cultural significance. The palace, which is centrally situated at the heart of the city, was erected by Oba Ewedo (1255 – 1280). It was later rebuilt by Oba Eweka II (1914 – 1932) after the 1897 war. A palace visit comes with dos and don’ts as regards traditions – one of the restrictions includes no wearing of black clothing, as black represents mourning and the Oba is seen as a deity who has no reason to mourn. Others include whistling (which is seen as summoning evil spirits) or pointing at the Oba or his chiefs, while dogs are not allowed due to sacrificial reasons. A tour guide will come in very handy to fully enjoy the experience.