Kumasi is a city in Ashanti Region, and is among the largest Metropolitan areas in Ghana. Kumasi is near Lake Bosomtwe, in a rain forest region, and is the commercial, industrial and cultural capital of the historical Ashanti Empire.
Kumasi is approximately 500 kilometres (300 mi) north of the Equator and 200 kilometres (100 mi) north of the Gulf of Guinea. Kumasi is alternatively known as “The Garden City” because of its many species of flowers and plants in the past. It is also called Oseikrom (Osei Tutu’s town).
Kumasi is the second largest city in Ghana, after the capital, Accra. The Central Business District of Kumasi includes areas such as Adum, Bantama, Pampaso and Bompata (popularly called Roman Hill) has a concentration of banks, department stalls, and hotels. Economic activities in Kumasi include financial and commercial sectors, pottery, clothing and textiles. There is a huge timber processing community in Kumasi serving the needs of people in Ghana. Bantama High Street and Prempeh II Street in Bantama and Adum, respectively, are business and night life hubs in Kumasi.
The city rose to prominence in 1695 when it became capital of the Ashanti Confederacy due to the activities of its ruler Osei Tutu. The ruler of Kumasi, known as the Asantehene, also served as ruler of the Confederacy, with their 1701 victory over Denkyira the Asante confederacy became the primary state among the Ashantis. Parts of the city, including the then royal residence, were destroyed by British troops in the Third Anglo-Ashanti War of 1874
Lady Mary Alice Hodgson, the first English lady to visit Ashanti, wrote “The Siege of Kumasi” an account of the siege of the fort by the nationals of Ashanti and of the subsequent march to the coast. (She was the daughter of Hon. W. A. G. Young, C.M.G., former governor of the Gold Coast, and the wife of Sir Frederick Mitchell Hodgson, K.C.M.G., the governor of the Gold Coast in 1900
In 1926, following the return of the Ashanti King Prempeh I, after a 30-year exile, Kumasi was restored as the ceremonial control over the Ashanti sub-states .The full role of king was restored by the colonial administration in 1935. The city holds an important place in the history of the Ashanti people, as legend claims that it was here Okomfo Anokye received the golden stool, an embodiment of the soul of the Ashanti nation Ashanti. Yaa Asantewaa, also a very renowned Ashanti warrior and leader, was taken to Seychelles Island and never returned.