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What is a world heritage Site? Heritage Sites of Nigeria

What is a world heritage Site? Heritage Sites of Nigeria

It was while visiting the Qin Shi Huang Terracotta warriors museum in China  that I discovered the existence of world heritage sites and what they meant.

When you speak of countries with a long history and preserved heritage, China is indeed worth the mention. Hungary is another country I’ve been to which is definitely worth the mention. Strolling around Budapest, it is a delight to see these huge buildings with very striking and unique architecture. They look old and worn out from the outside, but upon going in, you would find out that the inside has been remodelled to optimal living conditions.

I love the concept of World heritage sites and the listings. What they represent is heritage, they treasure the past stories and past memories of a people. While all these would probably vanish one day, their being kept is a great reminder to how far civilisation has come.

They should be an inspiration to the present generation to keep moving forward.

I am Nigerian and while most of our history texts start our story from the time of the British amalgamation in 1914, the different people have existed before then. Nigeria is a country of over 300 tribes and languages, it is indeed difficult to speak on each different tribe, to say since when they’ve existed and where they come from. Only time knows what tribes and languages have become extinct over the past decades.

I am Tiv, I love being Nigerian and to every Nigerian out there, Cheers!!  to cherishing our heritage, and writing the future history. “Oh may all who come behind us, find us faithful”

Below I’ve listed the few sites mentioned on the World heritage sites and the World Monuments Watch


Osun Osogbo sacred grove

Sukur Cultural landscape


Benin City Earthworks (Benin City Walls)

Ikom Monoliths of Cross River State

Nigeria as a collective nation,  when compared to other nations has very few heritage sites, of course you’d also have to compare its short standing history with theirs. A country like China which has lived through dynasties upon dynasties and better still whose populace spoke mainly one language will definitely have more artifacts which bear witness to their long history. So, here goes:


Date of Inscription, 2005.

Situated in the south western part of Nigeria. The site is named according to the State and capital in which it is found. Having existed over 4 centuries, this sacred site has gotten more popular in recent years,  there is a festival organised annually, this has resulted in increasing tourist visits and increased efforts to preserve the site. Still, increased population and pollution of the nearby Osun river and bush fires near the forest continue to put this site at risk. Below are a few sneak pictures of the site, for more pictures, you just need to follow the source of the pictures as linked beneath them.

Author: Thierry Joffroy Source
Author: Thierry Joffroy Source
Suspension Bridge, Photographer: Gbadamosi Wasiu/World Monuments Fund Source


Date of Inscription, 1999.

Situated on the Mandara Mountains (Monts Mandara) in north Eastern Nigeria, Adamawa State. Sukur represents what used to be, once a flourishing industrial settlement.The Sukur landscape has remained unchanged over the years and and houses the Palace of the Hidi (the local Chief). Sukur is derived from the Bura Languae and means feuding.

Author: Ishanlosen Odiaua Source
View from inside the palace, Source


Featuring the remains of the Benin City walls and and the Benin moat (traditionally known as Iya) which spans over 3200km. These were built in as early as the 13th century, to serve as defensive barriers in the time of war. Sadly, very little remains of what these historical structures once were. This site can also be found on the UNESCO world heritage tentative list.

Remains of the wall, Source
Remains of the wall, Source
View along a street in the royal quarter of Benin city, 1897. Photograph: The British Museum/Trustees of the British Museum. Source
a portion of the moat, Source


Cross River is located in South south Nigeria and the Ikom Monoliths are found in the Ikom local government area of the state. These monoliths are derived from volcanic stone and number about 300 in total. The writings found on them are believed to be an early form of Nsibidi, an ideographic style of writing specific to the present South Eastern Nigeria. The Ikom monoliths, while not listed as world heritage site but is currently on the tentative list.


I finally managed to squeeze this post here. I took me two months to write, There really is a big difference between researching online and using the pictures of others and personally visiting a place and taking your pictures.

It’s been exciting learning and discovering all of these and having reached the end of this post, I really do see the need to have a first hand experience myself. Hope you enjoyed reading the post.

Cheers xoxo 😀

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