Nigerian historic structures are so beautiful and have different stories attached to them. Some of these structures were either built to house early colonialists and missionaries or for protection during wars and have either been demolished, renovated or currently being used as a museum of some sort. There are so many of these structures around the country but here are a few that may interest you.
Okoroji house museum
Okoroji house museum is a historic house and museum located in Ujari, a village in Arochukwu, Abia State. The house was declared a national monument in 1972 by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments. The house which is made of mud and aluminium zinc was built by Maazi Okoroji Oti, a local chief and slave merchant in the 17th century. The interior house and showcase various sacred shrine objects and historical artifacts like slave chains, brass manillas, swords and guns
Ilojo bar and restaurant
Ilojo Bar, also called Olaiya House or Casa do Fernandez, was a Brazilian-styled historic building located near Tinubu Square in Lagos Island, Lagos State. It was originally built as a bar and restaurant in 1855 by the Fernandez family who employed returning ex-slaves who had mastered the art of building while in South America. Ilojo Bar was subsequently sold to Alfred Omolana Olaiya of the Olaiya family in 1933 and was declared a national monument in 1956 by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments.
Walls of Benin
The Walls of Benin were a combination of ramparts and moats used as a defense of the ancient Kingdom of Benin, which is present-day Benin City. It was considered the largest man-made structure lengthwise and was hailed as the largest earthwork in the world. It is larger than Sungbo’s Eredo. The Benin Walls were ravaged by the British in 1897 during what has come to be called the Punitive expedition. Scattered pieces of the structure remain in Edo, with the vast majority of them being used by the locals for building purposes. What remains of the wall itself continues to be torn down for real estate developments.
The Jaekel house is named after the late Francis Jaekel OBE, a former superintendent of the Railway Corporation in Lagos and was formally the residence of the General Manager before it was converted to a senior staff rest house. The Jaekel house is now a mini Museum and photo Exhibition celebrating the prime of the Nigerian Railway Corporation during colonial times. The house is over a hundred years old and it is located within the grounds of the Nigerian Railway Corporaton, Ebute-Metta, which is on Lagos mainland.
National museum of Benin City
The Benin City National Museum is a national museum in Benin City, located in the city centre on King’s Square. The museum has a significant number of artifacts related to the Benin Empire such as terracotta, bronze figures and cast iron pieces. They also carry ancient art related to the early times.
First Presbyterian Church Calabar
The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria was founded by United Presbyterian Church of Scotland missionaries led by the Rev. Hope Masterson Waddell. He arrived in Calabar and founded the first Presbyterian church in 1846.
Ancient Kano City Walls
The Ancient Kano City Walls ( Kofar Na’isa) were ancient defensive walls built to protect the inhabitants of the ancient city of Kano. The wall was built between 1095 through 1134 and completed in the middle of the 14th century. The Ancient Kano City Walls originally had an estimated height of 30 to 50 ft and about 40 ft thick at the base with 15 gates around it.
Ancient Nok Settlement
The Nok Culture, located in Jaba Kaduna State, appeared in northern Nigeria around 1000 BC and vanished under unknown circumstances around 500 AD. All over the world, antiquities from the Ancient Nok Settlement are seen in galleries and museums. It was in the Nok Settlement that the Terracotta figurine was discovered.
Mary Slessor House
Mary Slessor lived in Akpap Okoyong, Odukpani Local Government Area. She built herself a two bedroom mud house with a veranda, a store and a pa-lour before a more permanent structure for her. The walls were made of iron sheets while the door and windows were made of wood. The staircase leading to the first floor had twenty one steps and was supported by two pillars and wooden railings. After her death, the house was used as a rest home for other missionaries and as a primary health care center but today, the property is fully restored an important tourist site.
Sungbo’s Eredo is a system of defensive walls and ditches that is located to the southwest of the Yoruba town of Ijebu Ode in Ogun State, southwest. It was built in honour of the Ijebu noblewoman Oloye Bilikisu Sungbo.
The Gobirau Minaret is a 50ft minaret originally used in calling Muslim faithfuls for prayers but due to its vantage placement, it also served as a look-out point for approaching enemies. Gobirau is said to be the first multi-storey building in West Africa. Originally built as the central Mosque of Katsina town, it was later used also as a school. By the beginning of the 16th century, Katsina had become a very important commercial and academic center in Hausaland, and Gobirau mosque had grown into a famed institution of higher Islamic education.
National War Musuem
The National War Museum in Umuahia was established in 1985. The museum has a collection of objects of traditional and modern warfare. There are also outdoor displays of warships, military air crafts, armored tanks, and “Ogbunigwe” (bombs produced locally by Biafra during the Nigerian Civil War). The famous ‘Voice of Biafra’ radio was also transmitting from there during the civil war.