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Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone, and is situated along the Atlantic Ocean. It was settled by 400 freed slaves from England who had landed on the beach of Atlantic Ocean in 1787. A reminiscent of those happy times can be seen as a 19th century stone structure called ‘King's Yard Gate’ that reads ‘any slave who passes through this gate is declared a free man.’ Other historical landmarks linked to its founding by liberated African slaves are the Cotton Tree (that had welcomed the city’s first inhabitants in 1787 AD) and the Connaught Hospital (it is West Africa’s first hospital that had incorporated medical practices of the western world). Freetown is also a delight for beach lovers because it is located close to some of the finest and unspoilt beaches in Africa like Lumley beach, Lakka beach, No. 2 River Beach and Toke Beach.
The Cotton Tree was the first to welcome the freed slaves in the city, and it is believed that they must have prayed and rested under it that day in 1787 AD. Three centuries have passed ever since, and the tree’s historical status has ascended to mythological realms. The city’s residents still pray and ask for their ancestors’ blessings under this tree.
King’s Yard Gate
You can safely assume that the ancestors of nearly all of the current residents of Freetown must have gone under King’s Yard Gate in 1787 AD. It is situated at an entrance to the city’s main government hospital and is exactly the point where freed slaves were temporarily kept for medical documentation before they were financially reimbursed to start a new colony here.Sierra Leone National Railway Museum
The National Railway Museum in Freetown is where you can see a number of restored engines related to the Sierra Leone Government Railway that closed in 1974. Some of the famous locomotives here include a coach specially prepared for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II in 1961, a 4-8-2+2-8-4 Garratts, a goods’ wagon and a Hunslet tank. Also of note here are numerous displays of old photographs, tickets, maps and time tables related to the evolution of railways in the city.