Exploring Tourism in Lesotho
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The Royal Archives & Museum

Maseru, Lesotho

The Royal Archives, Museum and Information Resource Centre is a registered non-governmental organization. It is located in Matsieng Royal village, the 1858 settlement of Letsie I which has become the traditional capital of Basotho after Thaba-Bosiu.

The home of the Royal Archives, Museum and Information Resource Centre is an old office of the late Paramount Chieftainess ’Mantšebo Seeiso and King Moshoeshoe II. The Royal Archives were established in March 2008 by the Royal family and is administered on its behalf by professionals in various fields of academia.

It houses pre-colonial and post-colonial records (paper-based, digital and electronic) relating to Chieftainship in Lesotho, published books for library users as well as cultural objects kept in the museum which have a bearing on the Royal family. Nearby is the Royal Palace and homestead and dinosaur footprints and the centre provides guided tours to ruins to Paramount Chief Letsie I’s settlement.

The origins of Matsieng can be traced to the time when Moshoeshoe I sent his senior sons, Letsie I and Molapo to Morija to keep an eye on and provide security for the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society (P.E.M.S.). In 1858, following the burning down of his village in Morija by Free State troops during the first Basotho-Boer War, also called the ‘War of Senekal’, Letsie I relocated to Ha Rakhuiti later called Matsieng (Place of Letsie) about 6 km north-east of Morija. Upon the death of Moshoeshoe I, Matsieng became the royal capital of Paramount Chiefs during the colonial period and has been the traditional home of Lesotho’s royalty since independence.

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