Start | The List | Tentative | Timeline | Connections | Community | Missing | Forum | Map | Blog | About

Ruins of Loropéni

Ruins of Loropéni
The Ruins of Loropéni are the stone remains of a 1,000 years old fortified settlement that came to play an important role in the trans-Saharan gold trade. Gold was mined here in the 15th/16th centuries, and probably as early as the 11th century.

The site, mainly consisting of ruined walls, has been out of use since the 19th century and is overgrown with trees.


Jarek Pokrzywnicki (Poland):
Just visited (March 2014), while in Burkina it's quite easy to see. The most convenient big town to start with is Gaoua (the capital of Sud-Ouest Region).

Small buses from Gaoua to Banfora via Loropeni depart from downtown (not from the main bus station), while in Loropeni (one hour drive on a dirt road) you will be dropped in the center of the town, where from there is around 4 km to the ruins (in the direction of Banfora), if you dont want to walk, you will probably find someone with the motorbike to give you a lift (should not cost more than 500 CFA).

Ruins are not visible from the main road but they are well marked (entrance fee 1500 CFA + 500 CFA for making photographs). Half an hour should be enough to see all the site (it is not big) but remember to take plenty of water with you as there are no shops / other ammenities on the spot.

If you go furter to Banfora there may be an evening bus (small) there, if not in the center of Loropeni there is very basic (no electricity, water in a bucket) hotel (auberge) to stay in.
Date posted: April 2014
Massimo Cagnasso (Italy):
We visited this site in 1996 when travelling by with a rented car we noticed these big ruined walls. We were quite surprised by such kind of architecture in West Africa and tried to ask local people what it was. For some it was an old warehouse for slaves for others an old warehouse for different kind of trades. If you are travelling in this fascinating area of Burkina Faso a stop is worth if you are interested in african story and architecture or if you are a WHS collector. Obviously at that time there was no ticket and no warden.
Date posted: June 2013

Have you been to Ruins of Loropéni? Share your experiences!

Add your own review

Site info

Ruins of Loropéni
Country: Burkina Faso
Inscribed: 2009
Cultural Heritage
Criteria:  (3)
Category: Archaeological site, Civilizations of Sub-Saharan Africa

Site history:
2009 Inscribed
Reasons for inscription
Needs more background research and a project to stabilize the walls of the Loropéni ruin

Site links

Official website:
»Ruines de Loropéni

In the news:
Not available

Related links:
» Nice video visit.
» Virtual visit to the ruins.

Related Forum posts:
Not available

Getting there

This WHS has 1 location(s).


Sahel .
Archaeological potential . Trans Saharan trade routes .
Human Activity
Gold production .
Built in the 11th century .
First inscriptions .
World Heritage Process
Inscribed on a single criterion only . Only WHS in their country . Slow Starters .

© WHS 1997-2016