It may seem unnatural to list any tourist site in Lagos among the 7 wonders of Nigeria, considering the numerous tourist attractions in the country, regardless there are some interesting sites in the city of excellence also; sites that can leave anyone who visits spellbound. Just like we did last week with our list of 7 natural wonders of Nigeria, this article reveals the 7 wonders of Lagos.
In the real sense, there are several sites in Lagos that draw the fancy of the more than 21 million people who have made the city of hustlers their safe haven. However just like it happens with life, many are called but few are chosen. In this article we will be taking a look at 7 places and spots in Lagos that raises the eyebrow of the average Lagosian.
The 7 wonders of Lagos are places/sites that will keep you wondering if you are on the wrong side of the earth. If you’ve ever heard of an old prison in Ikoyi being converted to an entertainment centre, a bridge on the Atlantic ocean whose end is no where in sight, an arts theatre that looks like the Mitre of Pope Francis, the longest slave trade route in the country or the open air event centre guarded by combative horses, then you should understand why these sites are the selected few.
The 7 wonders of Lagos were carefully selected due to their historical connotations and epoch-making emergence.
Here are the 7 wonders of Lagos;
Which other place would be worthy to earn the number one spot on our list? The beautiful town of Badagry lies along the Atlantic coast in Nigeria and is located between the bustling Metropolitan city of Lagos and the border of Nigeria with Benin Republic at Seme. Badagry has the largest record of the slave trade era in Nigeria. Slave trade is a significant part of the history of Africans as well as the history of mankind. During the American Revolutionary War circa 1775, about 550,000 slaves were shipped like sardine out from Badagry.
If you are a nature-lover and have probably explored all the beaches in Lagos, the coastline and Lagoon fronts of Badagry are yet another set of unbelievable places you need to set your wanderlust eyes upon. Badagry is the biggest and most popular border town in Nigeria.
In addition, Christianity was first preached in Nigeria at Badagry in 1842 by Rev Bernard Freeman and he celebrated the first Christmas in Nigeria the following year. The first primary school in Nigeria, St Thomas Primary school is also located in Topo, Badagry.
The prestigious title of ‘the first story building in Nigeria’ has been generally accorded to an old missionary storey building in Badagry, overlooking the Marina waterfront. It was built in 1842 by Rev Bernard Freeman and other missionaries.
Although some people argue that it was built thousands of years after the first story building was constructed in Nigeria, however, the name has stuck. It was also said that it was in this building that Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther lived while translating the English Bible into the first Yoruba Bible. Ajayi Crowther, a Yoruba man, was once a slave (captured in 1821), was freed and later became the first Black African Bishop.
2. National Arts Theatre
The edifice called, National Arts Theatre, Iganmu was constructed in 1977 by the administration of the then Head of State of Nigeria, Major General Olusegun Obasanjo. The breathtaking landmark was erected to mark the Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC).
Despite calls from well-meaning Nigerians for a face-lift, the National Arts theatre established to celebrate performing arts and cultural festivals in the country, continues to suffer neglect from the government.
That notwithstanding it remains the pride of the nation and one of the best architectural masterpieces in the world.
3. Tafawa Balewa Square
The Tafawa Balewa Square hosted the nation’s maiden independence day celebration when it was just a race course for horse riders, and until recently when the event was moved to Eagle square Abuja, the square continued to play host to dignitaries within Nigeria and around the world on October 1.
The 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. It is also the venue for the Annual Lagos International Trade Fair.
The 2016 edition of the event was in in November.
4. Third Mainland Bridge
The Third Mainland Bridge, constructed by Julius Berger during the administration of Gen Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida used to be the longest bridge in Africa, but the October Bridge in Cairo after its completion in 1996 took away that pride.
The Bridge which was built in 1990 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 a place you shouldn’t miss if you ever find yourself in Lagos. But if you are a Lagosian and you are yet to come across The Third Mainland Bridge, then something must be wrong somewhere. To put it mildly, you were never in Lagos in the first place.
5. Lekki Conservative Centre
Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC) is a 78-hectare (190-acre) Natural Resource Conservation in Lekki, Lagos State.
The centre was established in 1990 to serve as biodiversity conservation icon and environment education centre. In order to start the conservation project, three potential areas were surveyed in 1987 by NCF technical team in partnership with the defunct Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative.
Thereafter, Lekki area was chosen to establish the demonstration site for the conservation project. Locating the conservation project on Lekki Peninsula informed the name of the project – Lekki Conservation Centre. The Centre was established by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation to protect the wildlife and mangrove forests of Nigeria’s South-West coastline from the threat of urban development
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.
6. Freedom Park
The popular Freedom Park, Lagos is located in Ikoyi and is one of its landmark sites. Formerly called the Ikoyi Prisons, Freedom Park Lagos, born out of the ruins of Her Majesty’s Broad Street Prisons, was reconstructed to preserve the history and cultural heritage of the Nigerian People.
Freedom Park Lagos is a National Memorial, a Historical landmark, a Cultural site, Arts and Recreation centre. The project commemorated the 50th anniversary independence celebration in October, 2010 in remembrance of the Nation’s foremost fathers for their patriotism which ultimately led to the Nation’s Independence from colonial masters.
7. Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge
The 7th wonder of Lagos on our list is another bridge; this bridge is breathtaking when viewed via aerial shots. The Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge, is a 1.36 km cable-stayed bridge in Lagos State. It links the Phase 1 area, of Lekki with Ikoyi district of Lagos. The bridge was commissioned on the 29th of May 2013 by the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola
The bridge is the first cable-stayed bridge to be built in Nigeria and was constructed by Julius Berger Nigeria. The bridge has a 9-metre headroom above water level in order to allow for the flow of maritime traffic.
The bridge is a toll bridge and its use is restricted to private and commercial vehicles with a total seating capacity not exceeding 26.The toll gate is located at the Lekki end of the bridge. Tolling has been controversial with some Lagosians believing that since the bridge was built with public funds, it use should be available at no cost.
The Lagos State government, on the other hand, has argued that the collection of tolls is not only required to maintain the bridge but also to generate funds for building other bridges to link parts of Lagos. The waterway above which the bridge is built is owned and controlled by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Apart from vehicular traffic, the bridge also serves as a recreational facility. Fitness inclined residents of Lekki phase 1 and Ikoyi use the wide curbs of the bridge for jogging, running and power walk, usually in the early mornings and evenings. Even Mark Zuckerberg jogged on the bridge when he visited Nigeria.
TheLekki-Ikoyi Bridge is the most photographed place in Lagos state.