MUSEUMS AND MONUMENTS:

Ondo State is endowed with rich Arts and Cultural heritage. Prominent among these are the following:

OWO MUSEUM OF ANTIQUITY:
Owo museum is rich in antiquities, artifacts and relics of historical and traditional value. These relics are readily available for the tourists to see for themselves. This centre is significant for educational research.



DEJI'S PALACE:

The palace of Deji of Akure has been declared the second National Monument in Ondo State by the Federal Government. The mighty palace located in the heart of Akure, the state capital now contained eighteen court-yards namely: Uha lila, Uha ajukoto, Uha Ogoga, Uha Mese, Uha Ibura, Uha ado Aya, Uha agboro, Uha Agaba, Uha Layo, Uha Leke, Uha awa Gun, Uha Jimifonnun" Uha Ikomo, Uha ado lie, Uha Orile, Ula Agbeto, Uha Ori Ojuto, Uha Ogoro.

Each of the court-yard is used for specific ceremony or for the living of the Oba's household. For example 'Uha lila' is used for ceremonial occasion such as reception for important dignitaries while 'Uha Ojukoto' is used for the installation of chiefs and Uha Ibura' for oath-taking.

It is interesting to note that the massive palace were knowledgeable in, what is described as, the art of modern landscaping, because each of the ground floor of courtyards is higher than the other, allowing the free flow of the rain-water from one courtyard to the other, and finally emptying itself into the main courtyard, known as 'Ua Nla', and from there to the city's main drainage system. The Unique drainage system of the massive Palace has prevented the collapse of the walls of the courtyards unlike other Palaces in --Yoruba land, whose courtyards lacked proper drainage system thereby resulting into water-logged courtyards and basement of the walls after any drainage. There are three main entrances to the main Courtyard, 'Ua Nla' facing the main road; one for the males, one for the females, while the central one is for the Royalty i.e. the Oba. Palaces of traditional rulers are indeed a true symbolic relic of the people’s tradition and culture.

The Ancient Oba’s Palace in Akure, SW Nigeria

The location of the ancient palace was established by Omoremilekun, known as Asodeboyede the grandson of Oduduwa. His father’s name is Ekùn (tiger). Asodeboyede, who was a popular hunter during his time, migrated from Osu- a place near Ile-Ife, and settled in the area presently known as Akure land where he later became the first Oba of the land. He reigned from 1150 to 1180 AD- a period of 30yrs.

The ancient Oba’s Palace is located at the center of Akure town along Oba-Adesida road, Ondo State capital, southwest Nigeria. The official palace tour guide is always available to attend to tourists between 8am and 4pm every day.

There are two main entrances to the ancient palace- Ònà Okùnrin which is the corridor through which men are only allowed to pass through into the palace; and Ònà Obìnrin where only women are allowed to enter through. It is a taboo for a man to pass through Ònà Obìnrin and for a woman to pass through the men’s corridor.

The two corridors lead into Ùà Lílá- a wide courtyard carpeted with a sheet of worn gravel and grass and enclosed on every side by side-corridors of short and thick mud pillars holding rust-brown corrugated iron shed roofs. At the rear end of the yard, facing the entrances is a hip-roofed open hall, projecting out from the main building. It is the place where the Oba (King) met with his Chiefs and other visitors in ancient times.

Most of the court-yards were small and each one led into another through flights of steps and narrow door ways carved into the thick and dusty mud walls of the ancient palace. Various holes can be seen set in the walls. The holes are networked and have a special way of collecting sound from each of the courtyards and transmitting them to a special secret room in the palace. Giving credence to the Yoruba saying “Eti Oba nile, eti Oba loko” meaning the King has his hears everywhere.

In ancient times, it is through these holes that the Oba eavesdrops on any secret discussion going on within the palace, thereby giving him first-hand information about whatever was going on behind his back. Ùà Lílá is the largest and most public of all the courtyards, while Ùà Òdórò is the deadliest of all; “whoever swears Ùà Òdórò and breaks the covenant will die immediately”. A visit to the ancient palace in Akure reveals a remarkable ingenuity expressed by the builders of the ancient palace when constructed some 700 years ago. The drain holes were so interconnected that even a minute after a heavy rainfall, one can hardly believe the dryness of the palace.

Another mystery of this ancient drainage design is the fact that there were no visible open drains around the external surroundings of the palace in the first instance until taking a closer look that shall reveal a small hole near the centre of the courtyard. This hole is 60cm-deep hole with an underlying narrow water-filled channel supported by square-shaped blocks of stone. This is definitely a peep-hole into the secret sewers underlying the palace. A visit to the ancient Palace of Akure land is a dream worth having and the actual experience a reality worth fulfilling.

The pictorials and labellings below gives a summary that beckons your visitation for a detailed insight on the beauty and nature at its best at the ancient Deji Akure’s palace.

[– Ònà Okùnrin (Male passage into the palace)] [– Ònà Okùnrin (Male passage into the palace) ] [ Ònà Obìnrin (Female passage into the palace) ]
The two corridors lead into Ùà Lílá- a wide courtyard carpeted with a sheet of worn gravel and grass and enclosed on every side by side-corridors of short and thick mud pillars holding rust-brown corrugated iron shed roofs
 
[The exterior surroundings of the ancient palace] [ The exterior surroundings of the ancient palace ] [ The exterior surroundings of the ancient palace ]
 
[Ùà Lílá, the largest of all the courtyards and the main court where villagers come together to make procession to the Oba.]   [ The old Horse Wagon used by the Oba in ancient times ]
 
[At the rear end of the yard, facing the entrances is a hip-roofed open hall, projecting out from the main building. It is the place where the Oba (King) met with his Chiefs and other visitors in ancient times.] [ Entrance to Ùà Ìbúra (Ìbúra court yard), the court where the villagers come to swear innocence, allegiance etc. as any situation demands… ] [ – Ùà Ìbúra (Ìbúra court yard). ]
 
[ Entrance to Ùà Oríòle, another big and very important court yard at the palace. It is the court that is used for festivals. ] [ Entrance to the seven alters along a corridor in Ùà Oríòle. Each alter represents one of the ancient streets in Akure land. During festivals, the Oba enters each of the alters to make atonements. ]  
 
   
[ The door through which the Oba enters the ancient palace during festivals ]    

Contact Address

Ondo State Government
Governor's Office,
Alagbaka, Akure,
Ondo State.
feedback@ondostate.gov.ng
Tel: +2348136246732