Explore a different destination UNESCO World Heritage Site Ruins of Loropéni, Burkina Faso






Ruins of Loropéni are ancient pre-colonial stone ruins in Burkina Faso. It is located in Lobi, south of Gaoua, to the southern part of the country. Not much is known about these ruins. It is believed to be the palace walls of the Kaan Iya, the king or ruler of the Kaan people.

There are ten such ruins which have been preserved. Its located on the trans-Sahara trade route points to the possibility that the ruins were that of fortresses guarding the mining of gold in the area. Scientists believe that the ruins are at least one thousand years old. The settlements have long been deserved after the extraction of the mineral reached its peak in the 14th to 17th century.

In 2009, the ruins of Loropéni became the first site in Burkina Faso to be inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This took place during the 33th session of the World Heritage Committee which met in Seville, Spain on 22-30 June, 2009. So far it is the only World Heritage Site in that country.

More on the ruins of Loropéni

The imposing ruins of Loropéni were recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site on the basis of it being the best preserved example of a fortified settlement in West Africa, as a result of the history of gold mining in that area over a course of seven centuries. The ruins of Loropéni are said to be quite different from those found in other parts of West Africa, such as the walled towns of Nigeria.

Photo of Burkina Faso

This is Pic de Sindou in Burkina Faso.  It is not the ruins of Loropeni
This is Pic de Sindou in Burkina Faso. It is not the ruins of Loropeni
Author: Wegmann (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N 10 15 0 W 3 34 60
Inscription Year: 2009
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: III

Location Map


View Ruins of Loropeni in a larger map

Visiting Ruins of Loropéni

Your base for visiting this World Heritage Site is the town of Gaoua. From there, you can make the arrangement, either on your own or through a travel agency, to go to Ruins of Loropéni.

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