1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Abomey

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Abomey, capital of the ancient kingdom of Dahomey, West Africa, now included in the French colony of the same name. It is 70 m. N. by rail of the seaport of Kotonu, and has a population of about 15,000. Abomey is built on a rolling plain, 800 ft. above sea-level, terminating in short bluffs to the N.W., where it is bounded by a long depression. The town was surrounded by a mud wall, pierced by six gates, and was further protected by a ditch 5 ft. deep, filled with a dense growth of prickly acacia, the usual defence of West African strongholds. Within the walls, which had a circumference of six miles, were villages separated by fields, several royal palaces, a market-place and a large square containing the barracks. In November 1892, Behanzin, the king of Dahomey, being defeated by the French, set fire to Abomey and fled northward. Under French administration the town has been rebuilt, placed (1905) in railway communication with the coast, and given an ample water supply by the sinking of artesian wells.