By Damilola Faustino
Many people rarely consider adding visits to historical buildings to their itinerary when they travel. Such visits can help you expand your knowledge and can also be a great way to reinforce lessons. Some of these historical buildings have hands-on exhibits and tours which add to the visitors’ experience. Nigeria has no shortage of these historic buildings, sites and landmarks. Here are some of them:
First Storey Building in Nigeria, Badagry
Widely reputed to be the first-storey building erected by foreigners in Nigeria, this building was once used as a primary school by the Methodist Church. Its foundations were laid by the famous missionary Henry Townsend in 1842 and completed in 1845 by Rev. Bernard Freeman and other notable missionaries. This historic building would later house the first African C.M.S (Church Missionary Society) bishop, Samuel Ajayi Crowther who translated the Bible from English to Yoruba.
Mary Slessor House, Calabar
Built in the late 19th century, the Mary Slessor House once housed the iconic Scottish missionary Mary Slessor who was best known for stopping the killing of twins in Calabar. Rather than reside among her colleagues in the missionary quarters, she decided to stay among the Calabar people. The result of that decision is the Mary Slessor House in Ekenge, Calabar, which stands till today as a testament to her selfless service and courage.
First Presbyterian Church, Calabar
Calabar is an important tourist hub because of its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean attracted attention from foreigners especially European missionaries and colonialists. The First Presbyterian Church in Nigeria was founded by Rev. Hope Masterton Waddell as early as 1846 and has endured as a lasting legacy of missionary work in Nigeria. It is also a wonderful place to visit.
Oba of Benin Palace, Edo
This ancient building was first constructed around the 13th century by Oba Ewedo of Benin and later rebuilt by his successor, Oba Eweka II in the 20th. This building is a symbol of the enduring legacies of one of the most powerful traditional kingdoms in Nigeria and indeed West Africa.
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