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Trip Planner Africa  /  Benin  /  Zou Department  /  Abomey

Abomey

2.8
Specialty Museums
Abomey is a city in the Zou Department of Benin. Abomey is also the former capital of the ancient Kingdom of Dahomey (c. 1600–1904), which would later become a French colony, then the Republic of Dahomey (1960–1975), and is the modern-day Republic of Benin.Abomey houses the Royal Palaces of Abomey, a collection of small traditional houses that were inhabited by the Kings of Dahomey from 1600 to 1900, and which were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.The commune of Abomey covers an area of 142 square kilometres and as of 2012 had a population of 90,195 people.The Royal Palaces of AbomeyThe Royal Palaces of Abomey are a group of earthen structures built by the Fon people between the mid-17th and late 19th Centuries. One of the most famous and historically significant traditional sites in West Africa, the palaces form one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.The town was surrounded by a mud wall with a circumference estimated at 10km, pierced by six gates, and protected by a ditch five feet deep, filled with a dense growth of prickly acacia, the usual defence of West African strongholds. Within the walls were villages separated by fields, several royal palaces, a market-place and a large square containing the barracks. In November 1892, Béhanzin, the last independent reigning king of Dahomey, being defeated by French colonial forces, set fire to Abomey and fled northward. The French colonial administration rebuilt the town and connected it with the coast by a railroad.
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