Located on the edge of Osogbo, Nigeria, the Osun Sacred Grove became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. Yet just nine years later it was added to World Monuments Watch’s list of historical sites in peril. This grove is believed to be one of the last of its kind, with increased urban development and pollution slowly destroying a centuries-long tradition of setting aside sections of land for the orisha and other spirits. Osun’s sacred grove holds various shrines, artwork and other places of worship dedicated to her, as well as a natural herbal pharmacy containing over 400 different species of plants. The nearby town of Osogbo is home to a 700-year-old festival honoring the goddess, which attracts thousands of visitors each year.
Photo credit: jbdodane