Brief History Of Top 10 Landmarks–Lagos
The commercial hub and the fastest growing city in Nigeria-Lagos has many tourist attractions and fascinating landmarks that constitute holiday resorts during holiday and festive periods.
Lagos State of Nigeria is one of the most populous states in the country with a disputed population figure of 16 million. Lagos is known as “Eko” in the Yoruba language – having been originally inhabited by the Awori people who called it “Oko”. It used to be the capital city of Nigeria until 1991 when the capital was moved to Abuja, but having been made a state in 1967, its capital was moved to Ikeja in 1976.
Let’s examine the history of some top 10 Land Marks of Lagos State below:
1. National Arts Theatre, Iganmu
The National Arts Theatre was constructed in 1977 by the former President Obansanjo administration to mark the Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC). Located in Iganmu area of Lagos, the theatre was established to celebrate performing arts and cultural festivals in the country and remains one of the top historic entertainment spots in the state, but calls continue to pour in from prominent Nigerians for the government to further give the theatre a face-lift.
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2. Tafawa Balewa Square
The Tafawa Balewa Square was constructed in 1972 in memory of Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, the first prime minister of Nigeria. Also known as TBS, the square can easily accommodate over 50,000 people – having been built on a former horse-racing course. The square boasts of splendid monuments which include horse statues, the 26-storey Independence House built in 1963, and the Remembrance Arcade constructed to honour veterans and victims of the WW1 and WW2. Religious organizations hold gatherings at this square and the state government also uses it for social events, while private businesses use the square to promote music concerts and other jamborees.
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3. Tinubu Square
Tinubu Square was named after great Nigerian woman of the early 19th century, Madam Tinubu. She hailed from Abeokuta in Ogun State and was a prominent patriot and businesswoman. She founded a trading family that still thrives in business today. The Tinubu Square is beside Broadstreet at CMS, Marina, Lagos, and remains one of the famous landmarks in the state till today.
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4. Lagos Lagoon
The Lagos lagoon is an extension of the Atlantic Ocean in Lagos and averagely used by barges and boats instead of larger ocean-liners. The lagoon is over 50km long and 3-13km wide, and separated from the ocean by about 2-5km space of sand which makes it a distinct body of water on its own. It is a major landmark in Lagos and one that continues to attract tourists and outdoor enthusiasts during festive periods.
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5. Taiwo Olowo’s Monument
This monument was built to immortalize the memory and achievements of Chief Daniel Conrad Taiwo, who died in 1901. Located on Broad Street and close to Mandilas House and the Continental House in Lagos, this huge memorial has become a facility where people could hold official functions and other social events during festive periods. It is one of the longest surviving landmarks in Lagos and tourists are welcome to snap photographs after obtaining necessary permissions for this.
6. National Stadium, Surulere
The National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, was constructed in 1972 with a capacity to seat over 50,000 sports audiences. The foremost sports facility in the state had been used a site for hundreds of national and international competitions, and was one of the major stadia used for the African Nations Cup of 2000. The National Sports Commission has set about to fully renovate the facility into a world-class sports stadium and to help it regain its past glory of the ‘70s.
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7. The Third Mainland Bridge
The Third Mainland Bridge used to be the longest bridge in Africa, but the October Bridge in Cairo after its completion in 1996 took away that pride. Built by Julius Berger and commissioned by former President Ibrahim Babangida in 1990, the bridge connects Lagos mainland to Lagos Island. It is an 8-lane bridge and one of the busiest in the state with thousands of vehicles passing it every day. It is one of the famous landmarks in Lagos and one of the fascinating attractions that tourists want to see on coming into the state.
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8. Freedom Park
Freedom Park is first and foremost a UNESCO Heritage Site and one of the historical landmarks in Lagos. Located in Lagos Island, Freedom Park is a memorial leisure park built to celebrate the Lagos colonial heritage and the history of the Old Broad Street prison. A cultural site and a national memorial centre, this recreation and arts park provides visitors with entertainment and events facility that cannot be obtained anywhere else in the state.
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9. Murtala Muhammed International Airport
Formerly known as the Lagos International Airport, this international airport was renamed after General Murtala Muhammed – a former Nigerian Head of State in 1976. Most air travellers arriving Nigeria come in through the MMIA, and most leave the country through this same airport. It is the busiest airport in the country and consists of an international and a domestic terminal, located 1km away from each other. This airport is a sight to behold – especially in the night when international travellers are landing or taking off, and a place where brisk business ever goes on between travellers and others at the terminals.
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10. Lekki Conservation Centre
The Lekki Conservation Centre is located on the Lekki Peninsula and consists of swamps and savannah habitats. This area showcases the wildlife and biodiversity richness of the state of Lagos, and it features a boulevard of coconut trees and a 1.8km nature trail that tourists and other visitors can use to scout around. There is a 21-metre-high tree house from which visitors can enjoy a scenic view of the picnic area, children’s playground, reserve and other areas where a wide variety of animals and birds roam free.
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