Lome, Togo’s Capital


Lome is Togo’s capital city, located along the Gulf of Guinea. Its Congressional Palace houses the National Museum, which showcases West African jewelry, musical instruments, and pottery.

Phosphate exports drove Togo’s development until independence was gained in 1960, after which its population has been stable.

Assigame Market

Togo’s capital city of Lome is a fascinating blend of traditional African culture and modern industry, with several critical landmarks in the Grand Marche (Assigame) market. Attracting visitors, this market features goods ranging from fresh produce and souvenirs to jewelry, live musical performances, and shopping stalls selling merchandise.

Assigame Market is well-known for its wax fabrics, which are hand-woven and embroidered into colorful designs by women known as Nana Benz (women of the cloth). Nana Benz were some of the wealthiest women in Togo during past eras; they used their fortunes to purchase property abroad and ensure their children received educations at Western universities.

However, global trade patterns led to the collapse of Assigame’s textile industry. China and India traders arrived with counterfeit products from these two nations that caused Nana Benz companies to go bankrupt; their fortunes are now being taken over by Indian and Lebanese traders who sell to regional buyers.

Even though Togo remains economically distressed, local markets still provide bargains. Villages and towns feature small markets where people can purchase traditional African clothing, food, and deals from the informal economy; many individuals make a living selling products in their homes or at local markets.

Independence Square

The Congress Palace surrounds this square, housing many ethnographic, cultural, and artistic exhibits from Togo, such as musical instruments from the region, as well as clay pots decorated with shells; shell-decorated baskets used to store food and water are on display here as are painted maps, old photos and drawings of Togo as well as paintings and photographs from early colonial period paintings and prints.

Togolese society is built around traditional family, kinship, and clan structures, which remain strong despite urbanization and Westernization. Village and neighborhood chiefs play an essential role in dispute resolution within their local areas; marriage practices depend on ethnicity and organized religion, but customary unions do not require state approval; polygyny is decreasing while traditional gender roles still play an integral part in rural communities.

Togo is a diverse country of many ethnicities and cultures. Most of its residents adhere to Christian religions such as Roman Catholicism and Protestantism; others hold traditional African animist beliefs or adhere to African traditional animism practices. Many of its inhabitants practice Islam from northern regions of Togo; French is its official language while Ewe and other native dialects may also be heard locally.

Although Togolese politics appear multiparty, President EYADEMA and his Rally of the Togolese People (RPT) party have held power since President EYADEMA died in 2005 and the subsequent military installation of his son Faure GNASSINGBE as president.

On June 21st each year, a wreath-laying ceremony takes place at the monument to commemorate those who lost their lives fighting the French colonization of their nation and achieve independence. Since then, the square has served as a central hub for everything from revolutionaries, shopping, walking tours, revolution, and revolutionaries again – a testament to how powerfully these symbols and structures can influence both cities and nations alike.

National Museum

The National Museum in Lome is an invaluable Togolese history and culture source. Showcasing traditional Togolese artwork such as sculptures, masks, and textiles, as well as hosting cultural events and exhibitions – its galleries provide a thorough insight into Togo’s rich artistic legacy.

Togo is a small West African nation situated between Ghana and Benin. With a problematic political history, including 38 years of military dictatorship, many prominent cultural figures were forced into exile. Still, recent years have witnessed a revival in its art scene, with several new art centers opening their doors, one being Palais de Lome, created by President Gnassingbe and dedicated to encouraging creativity and independence in Togo.

Lome offers visitors many museums and art galleries to experience its vibrant culture, but there are other areas where visitors can immerse themselves in its bustling culture. One such spot is Grand Marche Market; visitors can taste local dishes while shopping for unique souvenirs and enjoy Lome’s vibrant atmosphere.

The market is well known for offering fresh fruit and vegetables and handmade crafts like pottery and textiles – it is an excellent opportunity to experience local culture first-hand and discover its distinctive atmosphere.

Akodessewa Market

Lome is home to one of the largest Vodun markets in the world: Akodessewa Fetish Market is nestled into an unassuming corner. However, its appearance could easily fool anyone into thinking otherwise. But while its appearance might make you feel otherwise, this vibrant community thrives at this one-stop shop for practitioners of Vodun (an African animist religion). At its center lies animal bones from baboon skulls to leopard heads, from rat tails and alligator skins. Fetish priests create talismans to predict future events or treat illnesses at this one-stop market.

European colonialism and postcolonial autocracies have failed to stifle Togo’s ancient religious practice of voodoo, which is still held sacred by over half its population. At Akodessewa Market, fetishes and herbs are sold cheaply to locals seeking solutions from stomachaches to fertility issues.

Tourists may be offered consultation from a fetish priest and allowed to converse directly with gods. Though some may find the experience frightening, most people find it fascinating and a chance to gain deeper insights into an exciting culture.

While Togo may present many tourist attractions, the country can also present unique challenges. Visitors should exercise extreme caution near its borders with Benin and Burkina Faso, where terrorism activity has recently increased significantly. Local languages in Togo include French, with many people speaking English as a second language. People in Togo tend to be friendly and talkative; French is widely spoken, although English may also be heard spoken between laughs. Their laughs can often be infectious! When greeting visitors, they shake hands firmly before inviting you into their homes, where wives, children, and relatives will welcome them as part of a family-oriented culture where new friendships quickly develop, even if first not communicated between each other directly!

Art Village

At the end of 2015, drumming and colorfully dressed stilt walkers known as moko jumbies performed in Lome Botanical Park to commemorate Togo President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe’s unveiling of Togo’s inaugural central contemporary art gallery: Palais de Lome. This event symbolized new optimism in this West African nation between Ghana and Benin along the Gulf of Guinea coast, slowly emerging from decades of political instability and economic decline.

Lome is a sprawling urban center, yet most of its population lives in small villages across its vast rural terrain. Divided into five regions and 30 prefectures spanning coastal towns Aneho and Kpalime in the southwest to highland areas such as Aneho, Tabligbo, Sokode, and Kara in the north; Lome serves as an essential transport hub in the region due to its rich phosphate reserves.

Togo is a multiethnic society consisting of three main ethnic groups: Ewes in the south, Kabye in the central regions, and Ouatchis in northern Togo. Christianity is the dominant faith – more than half of Roman Catholics belong, though Protestant and independent Christian communities also exist in Togo. Traditional belief systems such as Yoruba-based sects associated with Vodou (Voodoo) still play an integral part of daily life here, especially in southern regions where Yoruba-based denominations associated with Vodou/Voodoo have a significant presence.

Togo boasts a long tradition of oral literature featuring stories about heroic epics and legendary figures, war poems, fairy tales, and ritualistic chants. Additionally, paintings, wood carvings and batiks, pottery, wickerwork, and decorated calabashes are produced; ornate statues such as Egun, Guelede, and Zangbeto (characters from ritual ceremonies) stand out among its art production.