Abomey Travel Guide

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voudou temple

voudou temple

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History and Culture

A quaint, idyllic town in Benin, Abomey was once the capital and main activity center of the ancient Dahomey Kingdom and is located at 100 kilometers to the north of the Contonu region.  The town was a bustling trade center in the 19 th century when the slave trade was at its peak and business with European merchants was flourishing. Going back further in Abomey’s history, between 1625 and 1900, there were twelve monarchs who succeed each other in gaining supremacy over the powerful and prosperous Kingdom of Abomey. Snapshots of the lifestyle of the grand royal dynasty are still visible in Abomey’s majestic palaces, the tombs of long departed monarchs and the extensive-collection housing museum. The ancient palaces have the distinction of being declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There are thousands of tourists who come here every year to witness the opulence of a rich monarchical legacy. The places itself are charming earthen structures that were erected by the Fons.

In 1892 the Dahomey dynasty saw its last Monarch, King Behanzin set fire to the town after being vanquished by the French forces. The onus of rebuilding the town and constructing an expedient mode of transport thus fell on the French administration and they created an archetypically European pattern of life that to this date is visible in the structures and lifestyle of Aboney. It has abundant European touches and is a blend of Africa’s wild appeal and Europe’s classic charm. The Abomey Historical Museum built in 1943 by the French officials stocks some of the most fascinating royal memorabilia and stretches across five acres, covering the palaces of King Guezo and Glele.

Accommodations and Dining

Abomey doesn’t offer a very extensive choice when it comes to accommodation; however there are a few places like Chez Monique, which is frequented by a lot of travelers for its comfortable ambiance and friendly service. The children will like this place owing to an interesting mix of in-house animals that are nestled in a fence area. You can even get one of the dance troupes to perform the exotic and beguiling local dance that is quintessentially rustic in form and presentation. The food is a delectable mix of European and African cuisine and you can sample some robustly spiced and flavored local fare in the old town region.

Abomey is a historically and culturally rich area which makes a beautiful choice for a vacation.

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