Things to do in Benin cityEdit This
The Benin Museum is located in the city center around King’s square and houses some of the world’s rarest artwork and sculpture, mostly pertaining to artifacts related to the Benin Empire (1440-1897). It has artwork like bronze figures, terra-cottas and cast iron pieces portraying scenes from the Benin Empire that range from daily life of the Bini people to the profiles of Edo kings. Benin Brass work is some of the most remarkable craftsmanship in the world and of course these pieces are one of a kind and cannot be seen anywhere outside of Nigeria. The museum also holds modern artwork, much of which was created by the local Nigerians.
The Oba’s Palace
During the reign of the Benin Empire, the “Oba” (or King) resided in the Oba’s Palace. The palace also acted as a fortress and stronghold for when the British invaded Nigeria in 1897. This monumental architectural masterpiece is adorned with paintings and brass works that were notable for their era. It is also surrounded by larger-than-life statues that depict members of Nigerian nobility.
Founded in 1915, the Obga Zoo is a refuge to much of Benin City’s local wildlife. It also houses more than 10 hectares of trees, plants and other vegetation. Obga Zoo has served partially as a recreational park for the animals and has provided scientific and intellectual value for Nigeria.
The Emotan Statue is perhaps Benin City’s most well-known piece of artwork. The statue was erected in honor of Emotan, a patriotic woman who traded foodstuffs with the Portuguese during the 15th century. She warned the Ogun, an Edo State king, of impending dangers on many occasions and risked her life to do so. For this reason, a statue was placed at the very spot where Emotan used to display her goods in the Edo market. To this day, anyone (including the Oba himself) who wants to conduct a ceremony of any kind must pay homage to this status.