Top 10 Most Beautiful Palaces in Nigeria
Nigeria is a land with tremendous history and people, it is also home to some of the most diverse and interesting cultures you can find anywhere.
This history, culture, and diversity are what make up our identity as a people. Despite the existence of federal, state, and local governments.
It is absolutely not surprising that the previously existing monarchy that existed in pre-colonial Nigeria is still kept in place.
This is because these bodies are the core representation of our identity as a people.
Despite not carrying any authoritative power per se, many of the monarchies still enjoy the benefit of carrying monarchical powers.
The majority of them, get a monthly allowance from the state government.
They also enjoy gifts and monetary allowance from their subjects, many of whom superstitiously adore them. One of such benefits includes a beautiful Palace, where the king resides and carries out his monarchical activities.
We have compiled a list of the 10 most beautiful palaces in Nigeria, for the sake of documentation and the preservation of our Culture and ultimately our identity as a people.
1. The Ohinoyi of Ebiraland’s Palace
The palace of the Oyinoyi of Ebiraland is considered to be the most beautiful palace in Nigeria and second in Africa.
The Palace is located at Itakpe Road, Okene, Kogi. This is the seat of power for the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, the traditional ruler of the Ebira tribe.
The Palace was built in 1927 and is considered the most beautiful because of its distinctive combination of both ancient and modern architectural designs.
It also serves as a political, historic, traditional, and religious powerhouse for the Ebira people.
The Palace was previously occupied by Dr Ado Ibrahim. He was coronated in 1997 as the Ohinoyi of Ebira land by the then-Governor of Kogi State, the late Prince Abubakar Audu.
He took over from his predecessor, Sanni Omolorim who reigned between 1957 and 1997.
2. Sultan of Sokoto’s Palace
The Palace of the Sultan of Sokoto Takes the second place among the 10 most beautiful palaces in Nigeria. It is home to the Sultan of Sokoto, the traditional and spiritual ruler of the Sokoto Caliphate who historically holds the most important Muslim position in Nigeria.
The Palace was built in 1808 by Ali Babba bin Bello, the then-sultan of the caliphate.
The building is on the list because of its use of Islamic architecture. Which is imposing and magnificent, drawing Muslim pilgrims and tourists alike to Sokoto.
The Palace is presently occupied by Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, the 20th Sultan of Sokoto.
He ascended the throne on 2 November 2006, following the death of his brother, Muhammadu Maccido. As Sultan he is considered the spiritual leader of Nigeria’s Muslims.
3. Ooni of Ife’s Palace
The ancient palace of the Ooni of Ife is no doubt one of the 10 most beautiful palaces in Nigeria. The palace, known as Ile Oodua is home to the traditional ruler of Ilé-Ifẹ̀ and the spiritual head of the Yoruba people.
The palace was built in 1937 and is located in the center of a city called Enuwa in Ile-Ife, which has been in existence as far back as 500 BC.
The building was however renovated in 2015 by the current Ooni of Ife Adeyeye Ogunwusi after he ascended the throne
The palace is considered a sacred landmark by the Yoruba People, as it serves as a home to some of the most notable deities in Yoruba land.
It also serves as a historical site in Osun State. It is decorated with beautiful local artwork and creative architecture.
4. Oba of Benin’s Palace
The Palace of the Oba of Benin in its magnificence is no doubt one of the most beautiful palaces in Nigeria. The palace serves as the home and court of the Oba of Benin, The traditional ruler and the custodian of the culture of the Edo people
The palace was built by Oba Ewedo, one of the rulers of the Kindom, in its pre-imperial Period. it is located in the heart of the ancient city of Benin.
It was however rebuilt by Emperor Ewe II when the first palace was destroyed during the 1897 war with the British.
The palace is presently occupied by Oba Ewuare II, the 40th Oba of Benin. He was crowned as the Oba of Benin on 20 October 2016 following the death of Oba Erediauwa, the 39th Oba of Benin, who passed away in the same year.
5. The Obi Of Onitsha Palace
The Obi of Onitsha palace also called ‘Ime Obi’ takes the fifth spot among the top 10 most beautiful palaces in Nigeria. The palace serves as the residence of the traditional leader of the Onitsha Kingdom.
The palace also serves as a site for a lot of festivals, events, and activities involving not only the monarch but also the totality of ndi Onicha (Onitsha people), It is also one of the major tourist attractions of the state.
The palace is presently occupied by Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, the 21st Obi of Onitsha. Rather than a monarchical leader, he is considered a representative of the people of Onitsha to the state and federal levels of government.
6. Emir of Kano’s Palace
The Palace to the Emir of Kano’s Palace also known as the Gidan Rumfa, or the Gidan Sarki takes sixth place on our list of the top 10 most beautiful palaces in Nigeria. The ancient, yet magnificent 33 acres palace is located in the ancient city of Kano
The palace was constructed in the late 15th century. Since the reign of Rumfa, it has continuously been the residence of the traditional authority in Kano and was retained by the Fulani jihadists who took over traditional authority in Kano in the early 19th century.
The palace is presently occupied by Aminu Ado Bayero, the 15th Fulani Emir of Kano from the Fulani Sullubawa clan. He ascended the throne on 9 March 2020, following the deposition of his nephew Muhammad Sanusi II by Governor Ganduje.
7. Olu of Warri Palace
The palace of the Olu of Warri takes up the seventh spot on our list of the top 10 most beautiful palaces in Nigeria. The magnificient palace serves as both a residence and court of the Olu of Warri, the traditional king of the Kingdom of Warri in the Delta State.
There are no records regarding the construction of building, but the achitectural design and material suggest that it was a recently constructed building that blends European and traditional Itsekiri architectural styles.
Ogiame Atuwatse III, the 21st Olu ofWarri presently occupies the throne as welll as the palace. He was crowned the 21st Olu of Warri on August 21, 2021 at Ode-Itsekiri, succeeding his uncle, Ogiame Ikenwoli I, the 20th Olu of Warri.
8. Dein of Agbor Palace
The Dein of Agbor Palace, situated in Agbor, Delta State, is renowned for its grandeur and regal splendor.
This palace, featuring a fusion of European and traditional architecture, stands as a testament to the historical ties between Agbor and colonial powers.
This historic palace takes the eighth place on out top ten most beautiful palaces in Nigeria, for its grandeur and regal splendor. It was built in the 19th century and is home to the traditional ruler of Agbor, , a traditional state in Delta State.
The palace is presently occupied by Dein Keagborekuzi I, who was crowned a as the child king of the kingdom of Agbor in 1979 at the age of 2.
He was named the world’s youngest crowned monarch in the 1980 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.
9. Etsu Nupe’s Palace
The Estu Nupe Palace grabs the ninth spot among the top ten most beautiful palaces in Nigeria. It is characterized by its distinct round shape, intricate carvings, and vibrant colors, representing the rich cultural heritage of the Nupe people.
The ancient and historical building Located in Bida, Niger State, was constructed in about 1935 by Sarkin Gini Muhammad Egba. It is one of the few traditional palaces that holds a rich cultural heritage in the North Central region of Nigeria.
The palace is presentlly ocupied by Yahaya Abubakar Kusodu Nupe the 13th Etsu Nupe, who was appointed on 11 September 2003 the ruler of all the Nupe speaking people in the world, in succession to his late uncle Alhaji Umar Sanda Ndayako.
10. Obong of Calabar Palace
Concluding our list of the top ten most beautiful palaces in Nigeria is the palace of the Obong of Calabar, the traditional ruler and custodian of the culture of the Efik people of Western Africa
The palace is located in Calabar, Cross River State. It is a magnificent structure that reflects the Efik culture. Its imposing facade, adorned with elaborate carvings and vibrant colors, pays homage to the rich history and traditions of the Efik people.
The current Obong of Calabar is Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, currently occupies the palace. He is the 78th monarch of the Efik people and has held the title since 2008, suceeding Nta Elijah Henshaw, who died in 2008