7 Historically Notable Places in the City of Ibadan

  1. MAPO HALL The famous Mapo Hall is known to be the ancient Town Hall for important meetings and discussions in the ancient Ibadan City. It is a gigantic, colonial style building right beside Bere Market in Ibadan lying atop Mapo Hill. The construction of the Hall took four years and it was finally unvielded in 1929, commissioned during the colonial era by Captain Ross. Mapo Hall is well known for its seven columns which represents the seven hills on which the city of Ibadan was built. It was refurbished during the administration of Governor Alao Akala in 2008 and acts as a Museum which houses a lot of Ibadan history. The hall is famed to possess have pictures of the rulers of Ibadan from the first to the current one, and it also houses various relics of the colonial era.

Cocoa House is a 26-storey building in Ibadan constructed in the year 1965 by the Western Region government and is located in the city of Ibadan in Oyo State, Nigeria. The famous cocoa house which is 26 storey buildings is the first in the whole of Africa. Its height is 105 meters, it was once the tallest building in tropical Africa. Owned by Odu’a Investment Company and was formerly known as “Ile Awon Agbe” which means “House of Farmers”, it was gutted by fire reportedly caused by a spark in a malfunctioning electrical equipment on the 9th of January 1985 and lost its beauty and elegance to the inferno that stripped it to its skeleton, but was rehabilitated for use in August 1992. The building itself houses offices for major firms and broadcasting outfits, and also serves as a venue for social meetings and functions. The penthouse has also been converted to a museum known as Heritage Museum or Odu’a Historical Museum and Hall of Fame.

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The University of Ibadan Zoological Garden and Nature Park located in the department of Zoology at the University of Ibadan. The renowned zoological garden was established in 1948 as a menagerie to support the conservation of wildlife and research. It became a full fledge museum in 1974. The zoo houses a healthy number of animals, including monkeys, snakes, birds, lions, warthogs, hyenas, giraffe, honeybadger, camels etc. It is open all week between 8am and 6:30pm with a gate fee of just 500 naira.

    Agodi garden stands out as the most popular park in Ibadan. It is situated on a beautiful 13 acre expanse of land in Secretariat road; right in the heart of the city. The serene environment creates a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. The park has sports restaurants, water parks, playground, zoo and forest walkways, thus naturally attracting tourists and residents of all ages.

The historical significance of the Irefin palace makes it outstanding. The palace which is said to have been built some 200 years ago belonged to one of the royal families of Ibadan. The Irefin clan was one full of powerful warriors and the Irefin palace was the abode of one of such powerful warriors. Built with just wood and timbre, this ancient structure has withstood centuries of rain and shine. It was the residence of a powerful chief in Ibadan called “Ba’ale Irefin”, who ruled from 1912-1914. This historical monument cannot be overlooked in the history of the Ibadan people. The palace still houses ancient diaries showing old records of events that took place at the Erefin Palace in the olden days. It is a popular attraction for tourists, curators, as well as historians.

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The National Museum of Unity, Ibadan was established after the civil war, to manage the nation’s heritage. The aim is to promote unity among Nigerians. The museum is classified into four distinct galleries: the Unity Gallery, Masquerade Gallery, Pottery Gallery and Yoruba Gallery. It exhibits archaeological excavations, relic, ancient utensils, regalia, material remains, pictures and many more materials reflective of the different cultures found in various parts of the country; the goal being to foster the preservation and sharing of knowledge about the uniqueness of each ethnic group in Nigeria.
There are also craft and gift shops, Museum kitchen, children play ground, multipurpose hall and open space, all serving as a demonstration of the rich cultural heritage of the people of Nigeria. One of the best ways to explore the diversity of Nigerians is by visiting this notable museum.

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The tower was erected in 1936 by the Ibadan Native Authority and was unveiled by Captain Robert Lister Bower who it was named after. The tower is over 60 feet tall with 47 spiral staircases and is located on the highest hilltop in the city; Oke Are hill in Igbo Agala (Agala forest) area of Ibadan.
Standing atop the tower one could see at a glance the four corners of Ibadan metropolis. It gives a panoramic view of all the important places in the ancient city. One can see a bird’s eye view of Gate, the University College Hospital (UCH), University of Ibadan, Cocoa House, Dugbe Market, Agodi Gardens, Iwo Road, Ife Road, Olorunsogo and the defunct Lagos/Ibadan Toll Gate. Other far-flung places like Adamasingba, Felele, and many more become visible. Some of these places are far flung but standing atop the tower gives one a precise picturesque of them. The rustic iron roofs of Ibadan which has become a sort if historical trademark can best be seen from this tower. A troubadour, sojourner, tourist or traveller who has not been to the Bower’s tower can be said to have never visited Ibadan at all, thus the saying, o mo Ibadan o mo Layipo”. Such is the notability of this monument.


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Oyo Affairs is an independent news media with the main focus on Oyo state news, politics, current events, trending happenings within and around Oyo state, Nigeria

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