The Kasubi tombs are located on one of the seven Hills on which Kampala is built that is, the Kasubi Hill. Kasubi tombs is situated northwest of Kampala bordered by Lubya in the west and Makerere in the east. At first, the Hill was called Nabulagala because Muteesa 1 having met misfortune at Banda Hill where he had built his first palace, he relocated to Nabulagala. He renamed the hill Kasubi, after the ancestral village of his mother, located in then Kyaggwe County. Today, it is known as Mukono District
This is why many Buganda traditionalists often refer to the hill as Kasubi – Nabulagala or just use the two names interchangeably. One major reason for Kasubi Hill to be such a historically important hill is attributed to be the world famous Kasubi Tombs. It is said that, Kabaka Muteesa I Mukaabya after his death in the year 1884 became the first Kabaka to be buried at Kasubi. The place has since then become the official burial site of the royal Buganda monarchy.
Today the Kasubi Royal Tombs are considered synonymous to the cultural heritage of Kampala and are recognized as a significant World Heritage Site. The tombs are great exemplary pieces of the skilled African architecture and cultural heritage of the Buganda people.
The state of Uganda was created from a small territory during the late 19th century by the Bantu speaking Baganda people under their kabakas, or kings. The Buganda Tombs for the Kabakas at Kasubi were built with organic materials in a traditional style of the Ganda architecture and palace design, reflecting years of technological advancement.
The first of the Buganda kings was kabaka Muteesa 1, born in 1837 at the Batandabezaala palace. He ascended the throne upon the death of his father in October 1856. He built himself a palace on the kasubi Hill in 1881 and was buried there in a tomb when he died in 1884. He was the first of his line to be buried with his jawbone. Traditionally, the jawbone was placed in a shrine because it was believed to contain the spirit of the deceased. Three other kings as well as several other royal family members are buried in the Kasubi Hill Tombs however small houses nearby were constructed to house the remains of the widows of the kabakas.
The Kasubi Hill Tombs of the Buganda kings were built with organic materials in a traditional style of Ganda architecture and palace design, reflecting years of technical advancement. The domed constructed and thatched circular building is said to be the largest of its kind. The Baganda used reeds and bark cloth, supported by wooden poles and reed fences with a reed gateway to support the massive structure.