Heritage & Monuments

Kasubi Royal Tombs

Uganda / Africa

The Kasubi Tombs are the site of the burial grounds for four Kabakas (kings of Buganda) and other members of the Baganda Royal Family.  The site occupies 30 hectares of hillside, most of which is agricultural.  In the middle is the former palace of the Kabakas, built in 1882 and converted to a royal burial ground in 1884.  The main tomb building is circular and surmounted by a dome.  The four Kabakas buried here are: 

Mutesa (1835-1884)

Mwanga II (1867–1903), who died in exile on the Seychelles Islands, and whose remains were returned in 1910.

Daudi Chwa II (1896–1939)

Sir Edward Mutesa II (1924–1969), who died in exile in London and whose remains were returned in 1971.

The site remains an important spiritual and political site for the Ganda people, as well as an important example of traditional architecture.  It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 2001 when it was described as ‘one of the most remarkable buildings using purely vegetal materials in the entire region of sub-Saharan Africa’.  Some of the major buildings there were almost destroyed by a fire in March 2010, the cause of which is under investigation.  As a result, in July 2010 it was included in the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger.  The Buganda Kingdom has vowed to rebuild the tombs of their Kings and President Museveni (born 1944) said the national government of Uganda would assist in the restoration of the site.  Reconstruction started in 2014, funded by the Government of Japan.

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