Discover Porto Novo Dahomey, history of the kingdoms of Benin
Visit Porto-Novo port city and capital of Benin, with its colonial buildings including the Brazilian-style Great Mosque , the ethnographic museum with its musical instruments, costumes and ceremonial masks, also the da Silva museum which presents the history of Benin and Afro-Brazilian culture , the Honmé museum which was King Toffa's palace in the 19th century , the statue of the first king of Porto-Novo Place Jean Bayol, the Songhaï center.
Also discover the village of Adjara with its craftsmen and its large craft market of pottery, fabrics, voodoo decorations and musical instruments (tamtams).
Visit Porto Novo and the Ouémé region
Located 32 km from Cotonou, we offer sightseeing tours to Porto-Novo for one day or half a day depending on your availability from Cotonou. However, these different excursions can be integrated into your tour in Benin. In this case, you must plan a one-day stopover with overnight stay.
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The programs of tourist circuits in Porto-Novo
Discover the history of Porto-Novo over the centuries to the present day
The history of Porto-Novo over the centuries to the present day.
Accompanied by a guide, you will visit the ancient city of Porto-Novo, and discover in particular, the Avessan Temple at the origin of Porto-Novo, the Zangbéto Kpakliyaou obelisk from the time of Tè-Agbanlin, the first home of Tè-Agbanlin, but also the Honmè Museum installed in the former official palace of the kings of Xogbonou, the summer palace of King TOFFA 1st and the French colonization and visit the parliament.
This excursion lasts about 3 hours, it can be extended by an audience with one of the kings. Queen Goun will welcome you to the royal court with royal songs and dances "adjogan" which was introduced by King Dê Messè in the years 1752-1757, you will be able to exchange with the king in the palace (duration approximately 1 hour) and a lunch in a traditional maquis accompanied by a traditional dance show
Porto-Novo, the political capital of Benin
During the nineteenth century, the Kingdom of Porto Novo developed trade in agricultural and manufactured products to replace slave activities, so in 1851, the head of this small kingdom signed a commercial and friendship treaty with the France, then in 1863, King Sôdji signed a protectorate treaty with the French because of the desire to conquer the city by the English, finally a second protectorate was established on April 4, 1882 under the reign of King Toffa to protect the small Kingdom of expansionist aims of Dahomey. This is how the French colonial administration took procession from the territory. King Béhanzin of Dahomey tried to reconquer the kingdom but it was defeated in 1892. The French Colony of Dahomey was created and Porto Novo was its capital by decree of June 22, 1894. At independence on June 1, 1960, Porto Novo became the capital of the new state.
Discover the history of the city with three names
The city of Porto-Novo is also called the city with three names, Adjachè, Hogbonou, Porto-Novo . In the 18th century, the Adja, left Allada, settled near Akron and named the place Hogbonou (the entrance to the big house) which will be Adjatché for the Yoruba.
Around 1752, the Portuguese wishing to bypass the monopoly of the slave trade imposed by the King of Dahomey on Ouidah, settled in Hogbonou, called PORTO NOVO by the navigator Eucharistus de Campos.
This is how the city of Porto Novo became the city of three: Adjatché, Hogbonou, then Porto Novo.
Porto-Novo, a city influenced by migratory currents
The city has recorded different migratory movements over the centuries. The first Yoruba inhabitants also called Nago came from Nigeria, then came the Adja from the Allada region , then the Goun, finally the return of slaves called the Aguda from Brazil and to complete the French colonial administration.
You can discover all these influences architecturally by visiting the ancient city covering about 600 ha , but also by immersing yourself in the cultural traditions of the region, sometimes influenced by the Adja culture, sometimes by the Yoruba culture, sometimes by the economy of the slave trade, sometimes to colonial domination. You will be able to see the symbols of the "Zangbeto", a secret society of the Voodoo religion which ensures security, or to meet the parades of other sacred masks such as the "Egun-gun" for example . Discover the products of craftsmen used in everyday life and also for traditional religious ceremonies, finally taste the traditional dishes in the maquis.
In Adjarra, go to meet local crafts and the making of tamtams
A few minutes from Porto-Novo, go and meet local crafts; the traditional manufacture of tamtams, and treat yourself to an authentically traditional souvenir, The blacksmiths forges, the manufacture of furniture with raffia canes.
You will make a detour to the Adjarra museum of masks then aboard a canoe you will navigate the Black River to discover a lush environment and in particular the raffia forest.
Finally, you will have the opportunity to taste the local brandy '' Sodabi '' at the artisanal factory . This excursion to Adjarra and Avrankou is scheduled to last approximately 5 hours.
You can also take a lunch break at Houssou "Hankpètè", to taste the culinary specialty of Adjarra the pork.