Stone Town

Its traditional Swahili architecture includes elements of Arabic, Persian, Indian, European and African styles.
Its traditional Swahili architecture includes elements of Arabic, Persian, Indian, European and African styles.
Stone Town, Swahili Mji Mkongwe (“Old Town”), is the oldest part of Zanzibar City, the capital of the Tanzanian state of Zanzibar.
The old city was built on a triangular peninsula at the western tip of the island. The oldest part of the city consists of many narrow streets, on which there are many houses, shops, bazaars and mosques. Cars are often too wide to penetrate this maze of branching streets. ,The buildings are mainly made of coral stone and mangrove wood, processed with lime mortar and lime plaster. The architectural style reflects the different cultural influences of the island, an interaction of Swahili, Indian, Arabic and European traditions, reflected
Stone Town is today a small part of Zanzibar City, which stretches from the coast to Benjamin Mkapa Road . East of this road joins the far larger new town called Ng’ambo (“the other side of the road”). Stone Town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.

Access : Coordinates: -6.1624, 39.1913 / By boat : There is a four-day ferry-catamaran connection between Zanzibar City and Dar es Salaam. The maximum luggage per person is 25 kg and the duration of the crossing is between two and three hours depending on the state of the sea.
By plane :
Zanzibar City is served by an international airport located 7.5 km south of Stone Town. Regular flights are operated throughout the year with mainland Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa and the Middle East. During the summer and winter holidays, regular or charter seasonal flights are operated with several European Union countries.

Attractions :

  • Stone Town :Covering an area of about 96 ha, it is the historic center of Zanzibar and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. It is also known as Mji mkongwe. which, in Swahili, means “Old City” , The main buildings of the center date from the 18th and 19th centuries. The urban structure reveals narrow, winding lanes that can not be passed by cars. Typically, the elevated sidewalks, called baraza, which are designed to protect against floods and are used as benches in drought. From the coast, stately residences can be seen, as was typical of maritime ports.
  • Ngome Kongwe – Old Fortress :The Old Fortress is an Omani bulwark from the 17th century, built from 1698 to 1701.  The fortress was built on the site of a former Portuguese church.  In the 19th century, the fort served as a prison, where executions also took place. Inside is an almost square courtyard, which was used in British times as a view-protected tennis court for ladies. Since 1994, there has been a cultural center, shops and a stage where artistic performances take place.
  • Anglican Church : The church was built from 1873 to 1880 under the British Bishop Edward Steere. It stands on the former center of the slave trade, The altar is located exactly where the slaves used to be flogged. A monument and a museum next to the church are reminiscent of the former human trafficking.
  • Beit-el-Sahel – Palace of the Sultan : The building dates from the late 19th century. It served from 1834 to 1964 the reigning Sultan as the seat of government and residence. Since the fall of the last Sultan Jamshid in 1964, the palace has been used by the government as an administrative building.
  • St. Joseph’s Cathedral : The Roman Catholic church was built at the end of the 19th century by French missionaries. Striking are the two bell towers. / Mandir Shakti (Shakti Temple) Hurumzi Street.
  •  Mosque Malindi Bamnara / Royal cemetery / Hammams and Persian baths / Darajani market / Forodhani Garden / Old Dispensary : The Neo-Classical stuccoed facade is adorned with painted glass windows and ornately carved balconies and balustrades.
  • Beit-el-Ajaib – Palace of Wonders : In 1883, this building was built on the coast, as the ceremonial palace of the then Sultan Barghash. It served as the seat of the British and Zanzibar governments.
  • Forodhani Park – Forodhani Park, Jubilee Gardens : Built in 1936 to celebrate 25 years of reign of sultan Khalifa bin Harub, completely renovated in 2009 and with an area of about 9 years, this small park well planted, flowers and maintained has, in its center, a bandstand on the right, a fountain and, on the left, a small playground.
  • Freddie Mercury House – Mercury House : Kenyatta Road 139 – One of three houses where Farrokh Bulsara, better known by his stage name Freddie Mercury, lived in the first seven years of his life in Zanzibar.
  • Tippu Tip House -Tippu Tip’s House : House built by Tippu Tip, sometimes also spelled Tippo Tip or Tippo Tipo, real name Hamed ben Mohammed el-Murjebi most famous slavers from East Africa. According to some sources, he visited his concubines twice a day while he was in Zanzibar.
  • Dr. Livingstone’s House , Malawi Road, Gulioni : Built in 1860 for the first Sultan of Zanzibar, Majid bin Said Al-Busaidi, this house served as a base for many explorers such Burton and Speke in 1856, Cameron in 1873, Stanley in 1871, 1874, 1879 and 1887 as well as David Livingstone in 1864, returning from his expedition leading to the discovery and exploration of Lake Malawi, and in 1866, departing from his expedition to discover the sources of the Nile.
  • Ruins of Marhubi Palace ( Marhubi Palace Ruins) off Malawi Road, Marhubi : Built by Sultan Barghash bin Said in 1880 in the middle of a 50-hectare garden, this palace burned down in 1890. However, one can still see many columns, walls and, above all, the bathing complex surmounted by its three domes and the aqueduct that supplied the area with water.
  • Ruins of Mtoni Palace – Mtoni Palace Ruins : off Malawi Road,The palace was built between 1828 and 1832 by Sultan Sa’id bin Sul?an to make it his official residence and home to his three wives, forty-two children and hundreds of concubines. The ruins form a quadrilateral of more than 3,000 m2 and have many galleries and colonnades.
  • Darajani Market : Inaugurated September 26, 1903 and an area of about 4 ha ,it replaces the old market that was once in the courtyards of the old fort. You have to go for the atmosphere, the colors and the perfumes, you are at the “mecca” of spices and in the capital of the tropical fruit.
  • Peace Memorial Museum, Beit-el-Amani : Benjamin Mkapa Road , Built in 1925 by British architect John Houston Sinclair to commemorate the end of the First World War, this center-plan building features whitewashed walls, a dome and arched windows of Islamic style. “Museum” is a somewhat improper term nowadays because almost all the collections have been transferred to House of Wonders.
  • Centenary fig tree – Big tree, Mizingani Road : Fig tree planted in 1911 by Sultan Khalifa, this hundred-year-old tree is very imposing on many photos taken since early twentieth century.

Activities : Africa Tours & Safari / Diving / sightseeing / photo opportunities / trekking / Golf , located 18 kilometers north of Stone Town / Guided tours / half-day or day trips to Unguja Island. / Eco & Culture Tours Zanzibar

Events : Each year, in September, the Zanzibar International Marathon Committee organizes a marathon between Bwejuu and Makunduchi, 53 kilometers by road southeast of Stone Town, along the Southeast coastline.

Go next : Coral Cave and Slaves Chamber / Prison Island , Former prison island off Zanzibar City where you can see the giant tortoise sanctuary of the Seychelles / Masingini Forest


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