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Places to see

Manhyia Palace Museum

Ashanti Kings' Home Unveiled

Within the walls of Kumasi lies the jewel of Ghana's cultural crown and one of the most cherished historical landmarks, Manhyia Palace Museum. This museum is a chronicle of Ashanti royalty, where history echoes through halls once walked by kings. It reveals artefacts and wisdom, from the grandeur of royal furnishings to personal effects of the Asantehenes. Have a glimpse at the Ashanti world and feel the pulse of Ghanaian heritage.

Location

Kumasi, Ashanti

Ashanti Kings' Home Unveiled

The Manhyia Palace Museum, located in Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Kingdom and Ashanti Region, serves as the official residence of the Asantehene, or King of Ashanti. The meaning of this place lies in its name, which from Akan language means - ‘gathering of the town's people. And that is exactly what it does to this day.

Brief History

Originally built by the Asantes, the palace was impressively large and housed a library with books in many languages. During the Third Anglo-Ashanti War or the ‘War of the Golden Stool’, the British destroyed the original royal palace. The reason for destroying the palace was the Asantehene’s refusal to surrender the Golden Stool to the then governor of the Gold Coast.

In 1925 the British built a new palace and offered it to Prempeh I as his residence upon his return from his exile, after spending over 20 years in the Seychelles. He accepted after paying for it in full.

This two-storey building with open verandas and a large courtyard served as the administrative headquarters of the Asante Nation until 1974, when King Opoku Ware II built the new palace behind the old one. In 1995, the old palace was transformed into a museum, showcasing a vast collection of artefacts, original furnishings, wax figures of previous Ashanti Kings and Queens, the bronze head of Nana Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II, and even the first television owned by one of the Asantehenes.

Exploring the Manhyia Palace Museum

Today the museum exhibits a vast collection of artefacts, the original furnishings, wax figures of previous Ashanti Kings and Queens, the bronze head of Nana Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II and even the first television of one of the Asantehenes. Among the beautiful artefacts, you’ll also find medals, furniture, drums, and palanquins, some of which are over two hundred years old. The building itself is an exhibit, as it served as the private residence for past kings. The museum offers valuable insights into the historical events and stories of the Asante people.

The Manhyia Palace Museum also hosts various cultural events and festivals, including the Akwasidae Festival, which is a significant event in Ashanti culture. The Akwasidae Festival takes place every 42 days. During this time, the Asantehene receives homage from his nation and welcomes visitors, making it an intriguing place for travellers. This festival is a fairly formal occasion, but visitors are welcome to attend.

Nearby Attractions

The journey into Ghana's heart doesn't end at the palace gates. Kumasi is home to a myriad of attractions, each offering a unique glimpse into the country's soul. Travellers are spoilt for choice. Here are a few to consider visiting:

Kejetia Market - the largest single market in West Africa, located in the city of Kumasi, Ghana. It has over 10,000 stores and stalls, and covers a total area of 172,197 square metres.

The Kumasi Centre for National Culture is a prominent landmark in Ghana, showcasing the rich Ghanaian culture and the history of the Asante Kingdom. Located in the heart of Kumasi, it is a 5-minute walk from the Bantama Royal Mausoleum and is about 270 kilometres northwest of Accra. The Centre features the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum, which houses significant Asante memorabilia, including a 300-year-old antique treasure bag. It also includes the Okomfo Anokye Sword site , where the Golden Stool of Asanteman descended, and the Asantehene's Palace. The museum showcases a variety of artefacts, including royal attire, jewellery, and insignia, and is architecturally designed to resemble an Ashanti chief's house.

Lake Bosumtwi - an ancient meteoritic impact crater lake located in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, with a diameter of 10.5 km and an age of 1.07 million years. It is a popular resort area for swimming, fishing, and boat trips, and is considered sacred by the Ashanti people.

When you are in Kumasi, we invite you to explore and visit the world of the Ashanti Kingdom. Prepare to be captivated by a world where ancient rituals, regal ceremonies, and the spirit of the Ashanti come alive!
Edite Strautmane

Hi, I’m Edite, I am part of the core team of GhanaTRVL and also one of the Insiders.

Locations mentioned

# Location Coordinates City/State
Manhyia Palace Museum Google maps Kumasi, Ashanti
Kejetia Market Google maps Kumasi, Ashanti
National Cultural Centre Kumasi Google maps Kumasi, Ashanti
Okomfo Anokye Sword Site Google maps Kumasi, Ashanti For more info
Lake Bosumtwe Google maps Juaben, Ashanti For more info
Bantama Royal Mausoleum Google maps Kumasi, Ashanti
Prempeh II Jubilee Museum Google maps Kumasi, Ashanti

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