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Educational services
Crafts village
Cultural activities
The town of Abomey


Abomey Historical Museum
tel/fax: (+229) 22 50 03 14
Curator: Urbain Hadonou


Days and opening hours:

From Monday to Sunday inclusive from 9a.m. to 6p.m.
Closed on January 1.

Entrance fee :

        - adults : 1500 FCFA
        - children : 1000 FCFA
Beninese :
        - adults : 500 FCFA
        - children and pupils : 300 FCFA

All visits are guided.

Average length of visit: 1 hour 45.

Special instructions :

- photos and sound recordings are not allowed in some places;
- the wearing of shoes, scarves and headgear (hats, caps, etc.) is forbidden in certain areas;
- the visit to the royal tombs is forbidden on Abomey Houndjolo market day.

Educational services


JIMHA (Jeunesse Initiative du Musée Historique d'Abomey - Abomey Historical Museum Youth Initiative), led by Mr. Janvier Houlonon, organizes artistic workshops every Sunday afternoon on the life and activities of the palace: enthroning of the king, ritual ceremonies, activities of the queens, etc. The different subjects are approached through theatre, stories, dance and so on.

In addition, initiatory sessions into court dances are open to the public every Sunday for 3 months of the year.

Educational workshops in collaboration with schools are organised by the museum and the CAEB (Conseil des Activités Educatives au Bénin): every Wednesday morning, classes attend history classes at the museum.

Crafts village

The museum craftsmen, situated at the entrance to the museum, create a number of objects which can be bought on the spot in the crafts village. Coppersmiths, weavers, tapestry-makers and sculptors are all members of families which were formerly attached to the court of the Danhomè kings and carry on today the traditional techniques inherited from their ancestors.

Abomey weaver

Woven fabrics:
These are made on the spot. The weavers perched over their looms make table-cloths, napkins, bags and clothing.

Appliqué cloth Abomey appliquéd cloth:
Speciality of the Yémandjè family. A technique invented in the 18th century to preserve the important moments of the kingdom in a civilisation without a writing system. Consists of figurines made out of appliquéd multicoloured materials. Renowned throughout the world.

Wood carving:
Carried out by the Houndo family. Carving of chairs, statues and ornamental objects. Wood: iroko, bastard mahogany, copal...

Houngnandan family speciality. Gourds and basket-work engraved by tools heated over fire.

Copperwork: Carried out by the Hountondji family. Representation of figurines recalling the important highlights of the kingdom and scenes from daily life. Lost wax process.

Cultural activities

    - Offering to the dead kings on all Houndjolo market days.

The town of Abomey

Historic capital of the Benin Republic, Royal Abomey has a population of more than 170,000 inhabitants, especially Fon, who are adepts of traditional religions. Bohicon, a few miles from Abomey, is a larger town at a junction, whose infrastructure could reasonably be integrated into Abomey's.

How to get there:

By road from Cotonou airport: about 110 miles (142 km).
Main districts on the way: Cotonou, Abomey-Calavi, Allada, Sèhouè, Bohicon, Abomey.

From Lomé by road: about 170 miles (240 km).
Main districts on the way: Lomé, Hillacondji, Comè, Ouidah (Whydah), Cotonou, Abomey-Calavi, Allada, Sèhouè, Bohicon, Abomey.

Where to stay:

  • Auberge "Chez Monique" (Abomey):
    situated behind the Abomey motel.
    B.P. 2227
    Tel. : 22 50 01 68
    12 ventilated roms from 5.000 to 7.000 FCFA. Meals: from 2.500 to 3.500 FCFA.
  • Auberge du roi (Abomey):
    ventilated rooms.
  • Auberge Guédévi (Abomey):
    situated behind the Museum.
    Tel. : 22 50 03 04
    35 air-conditioned bungalows and rooms: from 8.000 to 25.000 FCFA. Meals: from 4.800 to 6.000 FCFA.
  • Auberge La Lutta (Abomey):
    simple comfort.
    B.P. 2009
    Tel. : 22 50 03 43
    Ventilated rooms: from 3.500 to 4.000 FCFA. Meals: 3.500 FCFA approx.
  • Auberge Passagon (Bohicon):
    basic comfort.
  • Hôtel Dako 1er (Bohicon):
    B.P. 218
    Tel. : 22 51 01 38
    54 air-conditioned rooms: from 12.000 to 25.000 FCFA. Menu: 4.000 FCFA.
    Swimming-pool. Night-club. Free evening entertainment for large groups.
  • La Simplicité (Abomey):
    B.P. 2128
    Tel. : 22 50 01 76
    Ventilated rooms: 3.500 FCFA. Meals: from 2.000 to 3.500 FCFA.
  • Motel d’Abomey:
    situated behind the Abomey Museum.
    47 rooms and bungalows: from 10.000 to 45.000 FCFA. Menu: 4.800 FCFA.
    Tel.: 22 50 00 75
  • Relais Sinoutin (Bohicon):
    B.P. 130
    Tel. : 22 51 10 88
    8 ventilated and air-conditioned rooms: from 5.500 to 10.500 FCFA. Meals: from 1.700 to 2.500 FCFA
  • Résidence Marie-Josée:
    situated in Agblomè.
    B.P. 2053
    Tel. : 22 50 02 89
    Air-conditioned and ventilated rooms: from 6.000 to 25.000 FCFA. Meals: from 2.000 to 4.500 FCFA.

Where to eat:

  • Auberge "Chez Monique" (Abomey): African and international specialities.
  • Auberge Guédévi (Abomey): international specialities.
  • Auberge La Lutta (Abomey): local and international specialities.
  • Chez Luciana (Abomey): Tel.: 22 50 19 94. International specialities from 1.800 to 3.000 FCFA.
  • Hôtel Dako 1er (Bohicon): Bar - Restaurant (international specialities). Free evening entertainment for large groups.
  • Maquis La source (Abomey): Tel.: 22 50 19 96. International specialities from 1.500 to 2.000 FCFA.
  • Motel d’Abomey (Abomey): international specialities.
  • Relais Sinoutin (Bohicon) : Bar - Restaurant. Local and African specialities.
  • Résidence Marie-Josée (Abomey) : African and European specialities.

Special instructions: In some areas of the town, secret societies called Zangbèto are in charge of security from midnight to 5 a.m.: do not go out without identity papers after midnight, or else go out with an initiate.

Useful phrases:

Kouabo: welcome
Afondagbéa: good-day
Dogbè: goodnight
Odabo: goodbye
Nabiwè: how much does this cost ?
Kunawo: thank you

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