Standing strong at the top of Mapo Hill sits a colonial style structure that was once used as a town hall of sorts.
Constructed in 1925 by Engineer Taffy Jones, the imposing structure can be seen from most parts of Ibadan and also offers a bird’s eye view of the city from its unique positioning. It is said that it was placed in the center of town so as to make it easily accessible to everyone.
Look at those pillars
Despite not being used for administrative purposes anymore, social gatherings, events and wedding receptions take place there as was the case during our visit.
When we got there, we noticed there was a huge crowd and upon further inquiry we were told there was a wedding reception going on. This meant we wouldn’t be able to see inside the building itself.
Due to the crowd, it was also a bit of a struggle finding the tour guide and after a bit of mishaps, we found the designated guide, paid our fee of N500 per person (remember to always haggle) and began our tour of the environs.
We were told that the design took place during the reign of Baale Shittu Aare and has continued to remain a symbol of authority and unity of the people of Ibadan. The natives were actively involved in building the hall (read that as slave labour) and the first stone was laid by Captain W.A. Ross C.M.E who was representing the king of England in the Administration of Nigeria at the time.
We were then showed the various passage ways and doors at the hall that also lead to the roof top. It reminded me of secret hallways and doors leading to dungeons often portrayed in movies.
Who goes there?
Doorway to the roof
Even though the roof top is also a highlight of every visit to Mapo Hall, it was saddening to hear that it was also used as a political prison during the colonial times. Can you imagine being locked on a roof under the hot scorching sun for days?
Taking in the view
Should Mapo hall be on your list of places to visit? Yes! The building is impressive and I hear inside, there’s a mini museum displaying relics and photos of all the Olubadans (this is a traditional title) of Ibadan till date which I hope to see whenever I get a chance to go back.
It’d be great if they cleaned the rooftop too so it remains as impressive as the rest of the building
Have you ever been to Mapo Hall? What are your thoughts on it?
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*Reviews are based on opinions and personal experiences, and may differ from person to person
*prices written are based on the time the visit was made and is subject to change by the owners.