Petit Futé's opinion on OBA PALACE
The relatively modern building borrows a Victorian style, with a pediment with colonnades in the colours of the Kingdom: orange and white of course! The main entrance announces quite well all the splendour of Benin's royalty, with a guardian eagle of a large flashy swing door. But it is through the little door further down the street on the right that you will enter, oh mere mortals. Because the one you will try to see between his stays in Europe, the Oba of Benin, is considered as a divinity who, as such, is surrounded by a very strict code of conduct. His Majesty will not mourn, for example, and that is why black clothes are not allowed to stay in his palace! A similar set of rules applies, so be sure to ask your guide for them so you don't make any mistakes.
The Palace was first built in the 13th century by the Oba Ewedo, but the modern version you see today dates from the early 20th century, when the Oba Eweka was built following the irreversible destruction caused by the British invasion of 1897. The interior of the palace consists of a series of rooms with a somewhat flashy splendour, always made of modern white and orange materials, not to mention the gilding. The visit is especially worth the trip to learn more about the entire history and culture of the Edo Empire.
The Oba, who heads the local church, wears traditional white clothes in public, and wears a long necklace of red pearls like all the high dignitaries in the region. Necklaces and bracelets that you will find in southwestern weddings, and of which you can get a low-end version (but the effect is there!) in Igun street for a few nairas.
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Opening time and information on OBA PALACE
The Palace can be visited at random by chance, depending on whether or not the Oba is present, and who you can convince at the entrance. No black clothes - otherwise you will be refused entry.