Historical places to visit in Yorubaland – Guardian Life – The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
By Oluwatomiwa Ogunniyi
October 30, 2022 | 09:00
Yorubaland has a rich cultural heritage infiltrated through its language, songs, traditional religious practices, folktales, traditions, songs and history. Heritage comes in the form of ancient places of worship, artifacts, old towns and monuments, to name a few. Here are some Yorubaland heritage sites worth exploring. Abeokuta, Ogun Some people…
Yorubaland has a rich cultural heritage infiltrated through its language, songs, traditional religious practices, folktales, traditions, songs and history. Heritage comes in the form of ancient places of worship, artifacts, old towns and monuments, to name a few.
Here are some Yorubaland heritage sites worth exploring.
Some people view Abeokuta, with its rocky landscape and historic features, as a portal between the physical and the spiritual.
The city’s most famous landmark is Olumo Rock, a hill that served as a hiding place for the Egba people during the slave-taking expeditions of the Yoruba Civil War. The town itself is named after it, as Abeokuta means “under the rock” and there are man-made stairwells that make climbing the rock relatively easy. Along the way are shrines, usually maintained by women, and dedicated to different gods. Getting to the top of the hill is worth the climb as it gives you an aerial view of the whole city.
Other sites to visit in Abeokuta include the Old Alake Palace of Egba, the Centennial Hall, Old Abeokuta, where the freed Saro slaves who emigrated from Brazil and Cuba settled, and the Bilikisu Sungbo Shrine.
Known as Oyo-Ile, Old Oyo is said to be the ancient town of Oyo, which was deserted in the 18th century after a war with Hausa/Fulani raiders. The place is inside the boundaries of Old Oyo National Park and there are ruins of buildings built by people who lived there in the past, such as the old palace complex, outer walls with ditches and a water tank.
It is home to many animals and several species of colorful birds. Also in the park is the famous Agbaku Cave, which served as a shelter for the ancient warriors of the Oyo-Alaafin Kingdom during times of war.
Other sites to visit in Oyo include Mapo Hall, the National Museum of National Unity, and the Bower Tower, which was erected in memory of Captain Robert Lister Bower, the first British resident in Ibadan.
Osun-Osogbo is a sacred grove of Osun, the fertility goddess and one of the folk deities of Yorubaland, and is located on the outskirts of Osogbo, Osun State. The Osun-Osogbo Grove is centuries old.
The groves which are dotted with shrines, sculptures and artwork represent a time when people dedicated areas outside of their settlements to deities considered sacred. The Osun-Osogbo grove itself is located in dense forest which is one of the tall primary forests of southern Nigeria.
Other places to visit in Osogbo include Erin Ijesha Waterfall, also known as Olumirin Waterfalls, and Oduduwa Shrine and Grove.
Also called Oke Idanre, the hills are approximately 680 steps from bottom to top and are said to have nine wonders and myths like mysterious scriptures carved in rock that have never been decoded.
Also on the hill is a magical footprint that fits all feet.
The town of Idanre has other historical sites such as the first primary school built in 1896, which still exists, as well as a courthouse and an old prison built in 1906 by the colonialists.