Route des Esclaves

Memorial in Ouidah

The Route of the Slaves includes the slave auction plaza, the Tree of Forgetfulness (where slaves were branded with their owners' symbols and, to make them forget where they came from, forced to walk around the tree in circles) and the Tree of Return, another tree the slaves often circled with the belief that their souls would return home after death. There is a poignant memorial on the beach, Gate of No Return, with a bas-relief depicting slaves in chains.

It's such a beautiful spot that it's hard to fathom that 12 million people were deported from this very shore.

The end of the road features a small museum with images and illustrations about the African diaspora and the slave trade in general.