Built in 1922, this small palace is the former home of the king of Buganda, though it has remained empty since 1966 when Prime Minister Milton Obote ordered a dramatic attack to oust Kabaka Mutesa II, then president of Uganda. Led by the forces of Idi Amin, soldiers stormed the palace and, after several days of fighting, Mutesa was forced into exile. The building's interior cannot be visited, but the notorious underground prison here is open to tours.
After the coup against Mutesa II, the palace building was converted to army barracks, while an adjacent site became a prison and torture-execution chamber built by Idi Amin in the 1970s. Guides will lead you to this terrifying site, a dark concrete tunnel with numerous dark, damp cells, which were separated by an electrified passage of water to prevent escape. You’ll see some original charcoal messages written by former prisoners on the walls: one reads ‘Obote, you have killed me, but what about my children!’ On the grounds are also the scrap-metal remains of Mutesa’s Rolls Royce destroyed by Idi Amin.
Mengo Palace is at the end of a ceremonial drive leading from Bulange Royal Building.