Where are the most beautiful palaces in Nigeria and which kings own them? Nigeria, home to some of the most diverse and interesting cultures and ethnicity, it comes as absolutely no surprise that there are various kingdoms and sub-local government bodies kept in place.
Now there are ethnicities in the country with certain leaders, these royal leaders go by various titles depending on the cultural group that they belong to.
Some royal titles that can be found in Nigeria include; Oba, Igwe, Kabiyesi, Olu, Sultan, Emir and many more, depending on what geographical region of the country that you find yourself in.
Of course, you cannot consider or talk about royalty without talking about the palaces of these royal leaders. In Nigeria, every ethnic group has at least one royal leader that resides in a palace.
Today, we shall explore ten of some of the best palaces in Nigeria and their stories. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the enlightening ride as we take you on this royal tour.
The Ooni of Ife’s palace is nothing short of brilliant, where its architectural qualities are concerned. The Ooni’s palace covers several plots of land.
It’s all white outlook as well as its old castle-like design gives any person who sees it, a deep feeling of reverence and awe, this leads to a sense of respect developing in the hearts of the person viewing it on a somewhat subconscious level.
Gidan Rumfa as it is popularly called is the palace of the Emir of Kano. Kano state is home to Kano city, one of the most ancient cities in Nigeria. The Emir’s palace has been standing for centuries and has been modified and restructured to fit with modern infrastructure and innovations.
Built in the late fifteenth (15th) century, the Gidan Rumfa still retains some of its pre-colonial and olden artefacts, giving one a feeling of being taken a trip back in time, to the past.
#3 OBA’S PALACE (BENIN)
The palace of the Oba of Benin does more than just serving as a residential abode for the Ruler of the Benin Kingdom. Today, the Oba’s palace also serves as a tourist attraction that showcases one of the oldest empires in Africa to date.
Amongst its estate, are the Oba’s harem; where the queen and her concubines are kept, as well as a museum that showcases ancient Benin Empire artefacts from the precolonial era.
#4 ZAZZAU ROYAL PALACE
The palace of the Emir of Zazzau can be found in Zaria, in the province of Kaduna state in the Northcentral region of the country.
Although it has a simple palace design that is unique to Northern Islamic Royalty, the Palace of the Emir of Zazzau is extravagantly decorated mostly with the insignia of the Emir of Zazzau, and serves as a great spot to take pictures.
#5 SULTAN OF SOKOTO’S PALACE
The Sultan of Sokoto is one of the most recognized Ethnic leaders in Nigeria and more so in the Northern part of the country. It, therefore, stands to reason that the palace of the sultan of Sokoto would be nothing to scoff at, and rightly so.
Home to one of the oldest empires in the country, the palace has a lot of old and ancient precolonial relics that tell a story of times past in the area.
#6 OBI OF ONITSHA’s PALACE
The palace of the Obi of Onitsha is modeled after colonial and precolonial buildings. This hybrid styled architectural wonder is grandiose, with enough land for an open space that can serve as a ground for cultural festivities and traditional entertainment.
Best of all, the palace is filled up to the brim with cultural relics and statues that tell a tale about the rich history of Onitsha and can serve as a learning opportunity for curious explorers, tourists or even palace visitors.
#7 OLU OF WARRI PALACE
Just like all the palaces listed above, the palace of the Olu of Warri dates back to precolonial times. Located in Delta state in the south southern region of the country, the olu of warri palce serves as more than just a residential area for his highness, the Olu of Warri.
It also holds some tourist attractions and serves as a place that welcomes and educates people about the rich and interesting history about Warri and the Itsekiri people.
Events that take place in the Olu of Warri’s palace besides sightseeing include, Awankere festival, the appointment of chiefs and traditional leaders, settling disputes amongst people and families, as well as a host of other activities.
#8 OLUWO OF IWO PALACE
The Olowu of iwo is the traditional ruler of the land of iwo, situated in Osun state, in the south western part of the nation. The Olowu is the royal title given to the sole Ruler of Iwo land in Osun state.
The Olowu of Iwo is known for his exquisite and extravagant designs especially in regards to his palace interiors. He is known for lavishly flaunting his wealth and it can be seen in his beautiful palace design.
#9 ELEGUSHI OTTA PALACE
The Elegushi Royal family are one of the wealthiest families in Lagos. They are the owners of the renowned Elegushi beach and own properties all around Lagos and Nigeria in general.
Interestingly enough, the Elegushi Otta Palace is located in Sango Otta in Ogun state. It is a luxurious palace with lots of state of the art facilities. It was commissioned recently.
#10 ONIRU OF IRU
Once again, we go to the Southwestern part of the country for Aesthetics in terms of royal palaces. The palace of the Oniru of Iru is one for the books. With a large area of land that makes its presence known on the map of Lagos, the palace holds some of the fanciest and most luxurious infrastructure and design at its helm.
There is one thing that all the royal palaces mentioned above have in common; not all rooms and areas in the palaces are accessible by just anyone. So, while on tour, make sure you keep to the rules and customs of whatever palace you find yourself.