Benin City is the capital, and largest city of Edo State in southern Nigeria. It is the fourth-largest city in Nigeria after Lagos, Kano and Ibadan, with a total population of 1,782,000 as of 2021. It is situated approximately 40 kilometres north of the Benin River and 320 kilometres by road east of Lagos. Benin City is the centre of Nigeria's rubber industry, and oil production is also a significant industry.
It was the most important city of the Edo kingdom of Benin, which flourished during the 13th to the 19th century. It had important trade relations with Portugal during the last centuries before being razed in 1897 by a British punitive raid. Many treasures and artifacts, including the Benin Bronzes were taken by the British who followed up their victory with a military occupation of the area.
The indigenous people of Benin City are the Edo people, and they speak the Edo language and other Edoid languages. The people of the city have one of the richest dress cultures on the african continent and are known for their beads, body marks, bangles, anklets, raffia work and the subsistence farming of yam, plantain and cassava.