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Cotonou Shore Excursion: Porto Novo Tour
Porto Novo is an old Portuguese town where one can still admire colonial architecture and colourful markets including a large traditional herbal market. A city tour of Porto Novo includes the ethnographic museum with its collection of tribal masks and statues, the Great Mosque famous for its… baroque style, and the old palace of King Toffa.
- Musée Ethnographique de Porto Novo, an interesting museum that takes an intensive look into the past of Porto Novo’s kings. Displaying a good selection of fetishes, old Yoruba king masks, costumes, and some musical instruments.
- Palais Royal du Roi Toffa. This former residence of King Toffa is now officially called Musee Honmé. This well maintained, rather simple, palace is a nice look into how African royalty really lived. 1883 was the year King Toffa signed the treaty with French, agreeing to hand over land. The kingdom of Porto Novo was one of the longest lasting in Africa, lasting up until 1976.
- Musée da Silva. Celebrating Afro-Brazilian influence on the city, this fairly new museum offers a lot of variety. The museum grounds consist of a traditional house, a small library, an open-air cinema showing French films, and a hotel.
- The unique and perhaps most colourful building in West Africa is the 19th century Brazilian style church now converted into a mosque. A must-see.