The historic city of Abeokuta, which is about 100 kilometres from Lagos, stands at a height of about 300ft above sea level. Abeokuta is the administrative seat of Ogun State with a population of about half a million.
The city is set amidst a group of granite rocks of pre-cambrian formation, the central one of which is the famous Olumo rock, where Abeokuta (meaning under the rock) derives its name. To the Egbas (Abeokuta people), Olumo rock stands not only as a monument of faith in unity, but also a source of national strength, unfailing protection and sustenance from the supreme being who led their ancestors through the perplexities of life safely to Abeokuta.
This refuge marked the end of their wanderings and struggles for existence. It marked the focal point of their ‘promised land’ where they were free from incessant persecution and fears of annihilation. The Kemta Kampala market and local factory in Abeokuta comes highly recommended.
This is one of the few spots in Nigeria, where traditional print making is carried out with indigenous expertise, passed down from one generation to the next. The men and women who toil daily to produce the fabrics are protective of their craft and will not share the knowledge with outsiders. It is an enriching experience to see these folks at work, and the display of the finished works is a treat for the eyes.
The king (Alake of Egbaland) palace is famous for its heavy concentration of antiquities and relics. Also located in the city is St. Peters Cathedral which is the first ever church to be built in Nigeria. The Cathedral being in its original form, serves as a place of worship as well as a religion monument.
Visitors to Kemta Kampala market and local tye and dye factory should beware that taking photographs are not usually welcome. One might have to ask before taking photographs of the locals working at the traditional tyde and dye market.
Another downside of Abeokuta is unavailability of top brand hotels and this means that the visitors to the town will have to travel few hours away to Lagos to get a considerably good and top brand hotel to stay.[tab: Gallery]
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