Historical Sites in Northern Nigeria 

By TrendsWatch 6 Min Read

Nigeria commonly referred to as the giant of Africa is a nation with very rich historical legacies.

The Northern region of Nigeria is a melting point of diverse cultures, amazing landmarks and unique historical sites dating back many years ago with immense cultural significance.

Below is an exploration into some of these ancient sites in  Northern Nigeria.  

1. Emir of Kano palace

Kano boasts of ancient culture and civilization, undoubtedly the Emir’s palace commonly referred to as Gidan Sarki is one of the pieces of evidence.

The palace was constructed in the late 15th century with an area of 33 acres. This iconic monument in Northern Nigeria host’s ancient artifacts of old civilizations that were present before the period of British colonization and has continued to serve as the residence of the traditional authority in Kano. 

                  Image Credit: Wikipedia 

2. The Gurara Waterfalls

The Gurara Waterfalls located in Niger State along the Suleja Minna road was first discovered in 1745 by a Gwari man before some Europeans discovered it in 1925.

The waterfall was used as a recreation Centre by the Europeans, prior to this the Gurara waterfall was worshipped by inhabitants of nearby communities around it. Gurara waterfalls

is approximately 30 m in height and 200 m in width. The Gurara Waterfalls is one of the major tourist attractions in Nigeria. 

                Image Credit: Wikipedia 

3. The Walls of Kano

The ancient Kano city walls were built to protect the inhabitants of the ancient city of Kano. The construction of the wall started in 1095 and was completed in the middle of the 14th century.

This 14 km radius earth monument has a spiritual, cultural and historical significance. The walls were declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2007. The walls still stand today and within them lie other notable sites including the Emirs Palace, Kurmi market and Dela hill. 

             Image Credit: Nigeria Galleria

4. The Nok Settlement 

The ancient Nok Settlement located in Jaba, Kaduna state appeared in northern Nigeria around 1000 BC and vanished under unknown circumstances around 500 Ad.

The popular terra-cotta sculptures are the material remains of the Nok culture population. All over the world antiques from the ancient Nok settlement are in galleries and museums.

               Image Credit: Thrillophilia

5. Sukur Cultural Landscape 

The Sukur Cultural Landscape is located in the Mandara Mountain area of Adamawa State.  It is recognized as Africa’s first cultural landscape to ever receive a UNESCO world heritage site.

The Sukur Landscape is a traditional Landscape that comprises spectacular features including a palace, stones, granites and remnants of the state’s forest flourishing iron industry.

This unique site boasts ancient roots with evidence of Iron Age and even Neolithic relics. 

                Image Credit: UNESCO 

6. Kajuru Castle 

Kajuru Castle is a luxury villa, built between the years 1981 and 1989, at kajuru village in Kaduna State. It was built by a German businessman living in Nigeria.

The castle is often described as an African version of the Bavarian castle, it is adorned with an armoury, turrets and a dungeon.

The Kajuru castle is one of the most popular places to visit in northern Nigeria because of its unique architecture. 

               Image Credit: Wikipedia 

7. Zuma Rock

Zuma Rock, a massive natural monolith, stands proudly in Niger State. It historically served as the protector fort for the Gbagyi people during intertribal wars.

According to traditional beliefs the rock has profound spiritual significance. Zuma rock is depicted on the 100 Naira Note and is often described by many as the gateway to Abuja from Suleja, Niger State. 

                   Image Credit: Wikipedia 

8. Gobarau Minaret

The Gobarau Minaret is located in the capital city of Katsina State. The minaret was built as part of a mosque in the 15th century during the reign of Sarkin Katsina, Muhammadu Korau.

The 15 metre minaret is an example of early Muslim architecture and the tower has become a symbol of Katsina State. 

                    Image Credit: Wikipedia 

9. The Mambilla Plateau 

Mambilla Plateau is located in Taraba state. There are numerous towns on the plateau with the largest being Gembu.

The Mambilla plateau has an average elevation of 1,600 metres above sea level making it the highest plateau in Nigeria. It is also the highest mountain in Nigeria and West Africa. 

       Image Credit: The Guardian Nigeria 

10. Surame Cultural Landscape 

The Surame cultural landscape is an ancient city in Sokoto State created in the 16th century by Muhammadu Kanta Sarkin Kebbi who controlled an empire in the region.

It was later abandoned in the year 1700. Its wall is made of massive stones and is regarded as one of the world’s wonders of human civilizations. It was declared an ancient Nigerian national monument in 1964. 

                     Image Credit: Wikipedia 

In Conclusion, These historical sites in Northern Nigeria serve as an evidence to stories passed down from generations to generations.

They are tangible links to the past, helping us learn from history and also appreciate the achievements of those who came before us. 

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