Old Oyo

Date of Submission: 01/11/1995
Criteria: (ii)(v)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
National Commission for Museums and Monuments
Coordinates: Old Oyo 8°56'-9° 03' North 4°20'- 4°26'East
Ref.: 489
Word File

The Secretariat of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Heritage Centre do not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other information or documentation provided by the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention to the Secretariat of UNESCO or to the World Heritage Centre.

The publication of any such advice, opinion, statement or other information documentation on the World Heritage Centre’s website and/or on working documents also does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of UNESCO or of the World Heritage Centre concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its boundaries.

Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party


Old Oyo is the site of a large city deserted in about 1837 A.D. The old palace compound and a past water reservoir lie within the 200 ha area enclosed by a 7.5 km long wall. Two concentric outer walls with ditches, l 8 and 28 km long, enclose nearly 3,000 ha: one third of this is covered by the ruins of past mud buildings and one third by sherd scatters presumed to have occurred under more ephemeral housing. Guard houses in the wall gateways, wells, cisterns and grinding hollows provide parallel evidence of a very extensive past settlement. The mud-block construction of the old walls is best exemplified on a 16 km long wall loop, which encloses a further 2.000 ha.