Let’s take you on a tour of some of Abuja’s finest architectural structures and the interesting facts about them.
The Federal Capital Territory was formed in 1976 to celebrate the unification of Nigeria. Check out 7 popular buildings erected in Abuja since then and the stories behind them.
The capital city of Nigeria has many attractions associated with it. One of which is Aso Rock, an enormous monolith that dominates the skyline of the city. However, there are other structures whose edifice bring beauty to the skyline of the Abuja.
1. Abuja’s Airplane house
This house built in the shape of a plane is one sight to behold in Abuja. It was built by a Lebanese couple, the Saids, in 2002. Jammal Said, the husband who spearheaded the project, in a bid to fulfil his wife’s love of travel, came up with the idea of building a plane house of about 100 ft (30.5 m) long.
According to Culture Trip, “The house itself has three floors and a basement. The wings and engines of the plane that extend over the sides of the hilltop villa each contain a bedroom and bathroom. The beautifully constructed cabin area is a living room and bar, the TV/computer game room is located in the plane’s cockpit, while the back of the plane is a kitchen. Along with the main building, the property also features a number of other aircraft-inspired structures, one resembling an aircraft control tower. Behind the main house is a smaller, plane-topped guest cottage and a two-storey security booth.”
You can find the building at Yakubu Gowon Crescent in Asokoro to fulfil your wanderlust. However, bear in mind that the building is private property.
2. Ministry of Defence (Ship house)
Considered one of the most controversial architectures in Abuja, the Ship House is a fan favourite. It is white building built in the shape of a ship and doubles as the headquarters of the Nigerian Ministry of Defence, which consists of the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigerian Navy and others. Though access to it is limited, it still remains one of the hottest tourist spots for sight seeing.
3. National Mosque (Central Mosque)
The Abuja National Mosque, informally known as Central Mosque, is easily one of the most popular tourist attractions of Abuja. According to the Hongkiat survey, the Abuja National Mosque is one of the top 50 Most Beautiful Religious Centres in the world. Its famous golden dome and four minarets, which can be seen from miles away, are signature for the depiction of the Federal Capital Territory. Tourists come from all over the world to take a tour of the mosque which is open to the non-Muslims except during prayers.
4. National Christian Centre, Abuja (Central Church)
Formerly known as the National Ecumenical Center, the National Christian centre was built to celebrate Christendom in Nigeria. It was completed in 2005, though its construction had been left pending for 16 years. Its tall spire adds its edifice to the skies of Abuja.
The building itself was built in a neo-gothic style and has several pivoted arches which lead to the altar. The altar itself is centrally placed in the church and makes a complete rotation every 10 minutes. A pipe organ is fitted to the right wing of the church, close to which sits the choir. Stained glass windows which employ a simple but attractive mix of yellow, green and red colors can be seen all around the church. Tourists from all over the world come to see this magnificence as the cathedral is open to everyone except during church activities. Guided tours are also available.
5. CBN Headquarters
This building is the headquarters of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Standing at 308 ft (94 m), it ranks as one of the tallest buildings in Nigeria. You can find the architectural beauty on Tafawa Balewa Way, Central Business District, Abuja.
6. Boat house
The Boat house is a red apartment building built in the shape of a large boat. It is a government issued house, barely meters away from the Ministry of Defence in Garki.
7. National Assembly complex of Nigeria
Ever wondered where the laws of Nigeria are made? This building is where the drama happens. The 40,000m² floor area complex houses the Legislative Chamber and the Senatorial Chamber and acts as the legislative building of the National Assembly. Built in 1999 at a cost of nearly $35.18 million, the building’s imposing green dome is one unique sight in Abuja.