In 1896, the British invaded the Asante Kingdom.  They looted the palace of the Ashantihene Nana Prempeh I and arrested him, some of his relatives, and advisors, and exiled them first to Elmina for about a year and then to Freetown in Sierra Leone until 1990.  In 1900, a woman called Yaa Asantewaa (referred to then as Joan of Arc) wage a war against the British.  The British fearing the proximity of the exiled Ashantihene to the Yaa Asantewaa war moved Prempeh I and his companions to the Seychelles Island in the Indian Ocean.  On December 27, 1924, the British allowed Prempeh I and the remaining members of his entourage to return to Kumasi, the seat of Ashanti Kingdom.  The British then build Manhyia Palace as the official residence for Prempeh I to appease the Ashantis.  The Manhyia Palace was rehabilitated in 1995 and reopened on August of that year to the public as a public museum.  The Manhyia Palace Museum provides insight into the rich Ashanti culture.  It communicates historical culture role of the kings, queens, and leaders of the Ashantis before the British invasion.  The Museum houses drums and other artifacts such as palanquins that are over 100 years old.  In 2004, the Canadian Museum of Civilization repatriated some artifacts taken away during the Yaa Asantewaa War of 1900 including a war drum and a royal stool taken from the Palace of the queen-mother of Adansi.


Other interesting places to visit not far from the Manhyia Palace are:

  • Lake Bosomtwe in the rain forest.
  • Okonfo Anokye Sword (the Eighth Wonder of the World).  Muhammed Ali tried to pull it in 1964 during a visit to Ghana but could not.
  • Kejetia open air market.
  • Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.