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Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, is located in the central part of the country. Plans were approved in 1976 to move the capital from Lagos. In the 1980s, the new, planned city was built and Abuja became the official capital of Nigeria in 1991. Today Abuja is the heart of Nigeria's diplomatic activity and serves as a convenient gateway for visiting the rest of the country. It is a modern and attractive city built between two rock formations, the Zuma and Aso Rocks.
Zuma Rock is known as the "Gateway to Abuja" and marks the beginning of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). It is reported to be the geographical centre of Nigeria. Aso Rock towers some 400m above sea level. The Abuja Plant Nursery at the foot of Aso Rock is a botanical garden with an interesting collection of diverse plants. The palatial residence of the President of Nigeria known as Aso Rock Presidential Villa encompasses Aso Rock and is situated in the Three Arms Zone of the Abuja metropolis.
Abuja is home to several parks and green areas with the largest one being Millennium park. Millennium Park was designed by world renowned architect Manfredi Nicoletti and was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II. Ministers Hill in the Maitama District offers spectacular panoramic views. The Dutse range just off Keffi-Suleja expressway is a wildlife sanctuary for baboons.
Diverse architecture is evident in the city's many notable buildings including the National Mosque, the National Christian Centre and the National Stadium. Daily markets throughout the city offer everything from pottery to local fruits and breads.