Tourist Attraction in Abomey: Palais Royaux d'Abomey
The Royal Abomei Palaces are a set of 12 structures built in clay by the Fon peoples between the mid-17th century and the late 19th century, spread over an area of 40 hectares in the center of the city of Abomei in Benin, capital of the former Kingdom of Dahomey. The kingdom was founded in 1625 by the Fon people who developed a powerful military and commercial empire that dominated the black trade with European traffickers (to whom they sold their prisoners of war) until the end of the 19th century. At its height, the palaces could accommodate up to 8,000 people. The king's palace included a two-story building known as the "Búzios House" or akuehue. One of the most famous and historically significant traditional sites in West Africa, the palaces are one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and also a World Heritage in Danger due to the damage caused by a cyclone on March 15, 1984, when the royal enclosure and museums, particularly the "Portico of King Guezo", the "Assins Room", the king's tomb and the "Hall of the Jewels" were damaged. However, with the support of several international bodies, the work of restoration and renovation has been completed. Based on subsequent evaluations and reports received, UNESCO decided to remove the architectural set from the List of World Heritage in Danger in July 2007. Since 1993, 50 of the 56 bas-reliefs that decorated the walls of King Glélé's palace (1858-1889 ) (now called Salle des Bijoux or "Jewelery Room") were removed and replaced in the rebuilt structure. The bas-reliefs bring an iconographic code that expresses the history and power of the Fon.