Tafawa Balewa Square

The Tafawa Balewa Square, (TBS) is a 14.5-hectare (35.8-acre) ceremonial ground (originally called “Race Course”) in Lagos Island, Lagos.

The land was provided to colonial authorities by Oba Dosunmu in 1859, who thereafter, built up the surrounding areas. The course was later demolished by the government of Yakubu Gowon to make way for Tafawa Balewa Square. In its hey days, the course hosted the Empire Day parades. The horse racing track was about seven to eight furlongs or a mile.

TBS was constructed in 1972 over the site of a defunct rack for horse racing. It is bounded by Awolowo road, Cable Street, Force road, Catholic Mission street and the 26-storey independence building.

The entrance to the square has gigantic sculptures of four white horses hovering above the gate and seven red eagles, which are symbols from the national emblem signifying Strength and Dignity respectively. Other monuments in the square include the Remembrance Arcade 1 (with memorials to World War I, World War II and Nigerian civil war victims) and the 26-storey Independence House, built in 1963 which was for a long time, the tallest building in Nigeria.

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