The place of the martyr is a beautifully crafted work of art located in Cotonou, Republic of Benin; it is an historical monument that serve the purpose of reminding the citizens and people about the 17 innocent Beninese that died during the 1977 Coup d’état led by Bob Denard to overthrow the then government led by Mathieu Kerekou.
The republic of Benin formerly known as Dahomey(it’s French colonial name) gained its independence from the French in the year 1960 and ever since, went through series of democratic and military regimes and also various military coups. One of these coups happened on the 16th of January, 1977 when a group of foreign mercenaries led by Bob Denard came to Benin and landed directly in Cotonou with the primary aim of overthrowing the government.
Bob Denard was a legendary French soldier(French Navy)of fame who for decades was involved in coups and mercenary activities across Africa and middle East. He died at age 78 on October 13, 2007.
The monument contains a statue of three Benin soldiers, each with a weapon and there is a huge flag behind them and it shows the patriotic move of those Benin citizen against the mercenaries.
Place des Martyr is in a serene environment with a great view of the city, a strong internet connection, a mini gallery where one can purchase art works from different artists; the monument makes one to really understand and feel what the 20th century was like in Africa. It is place that will make one feel connected to history and make one feel like one was part of the whole struggle for a better and safe country.