During the 18th century, the Kingdom of Asante near present-day Kumasi was among the wealthiest and most powerful kingdoms on the African continent. To the northeast of Kumasi, the last remnants of this grand civilization remain: the UNESCO-listed Asante Traditional Buildings.
A series of about 10 mud, wood and straw houses and shrines built around courtyards were used primarily for religious purposes, and you can still see the religious motifs in the beautiful bas-reliefs that cover the walls. Due to the delicate materials used to construct the houses, they’re susceptible to weather damage, and for years, the structures were cared for by master craftsmen. In the mid-1900s, the government took over the structures, and today you’ll see sturdier materials (corrugated roofing and the like) in place of the traditional ones.
To get the most of your visit to this UNESCO World Heritage site, visit the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum at the National Cultural Centre in Kumasi first to learn more about the history of the Asante Kingdom.