Are you interested in exploring Zanzibar’s historical sites? From time-honoured buildings and monuments to palaces and parks, Zanzibar has a number of historical sites. Discover the island’s fascinating past while exploring. With these historical sites in Zanzibar, you will have an opportunity to explore the rich history of the island.
This historic building is currently the headquarters of the Zanzibar Tourist Corporation and is located on the northeast outskirts of the city. It was constructed for Sultan Majid circa 1860 (sultan from 1856 to 1870). Many of the European explorers and missionaries who travelled to eastern and central Africa in the second half of the 19th century selected Zanzibar as their starting point at this time. Before embarking on his final voyage in 1866 by sailing to the mainland, David Livingstone—likely the most well-known explorer of all—stayed in this home. While preparing for their respective voyages, other explorers including Burton, Speke, Cameron, and Stanley also stayed in this area.
Old Anglican Church in Zanzibar
Anyone interested in Zanzibar’s history and the impact of the British abolitionist effort on Zanzibar must visit the Old Anglican Church. On the site of the whipping post from the biggest slave market on the island, the altar of the cathedral sits there symbolically. One of the most well-known Slave Monuments in the world is located on the grounds of the Church, which is open to visitors.
The House of Wonders Museum
Beit al-Ajaib, also known as the House of Wonders and constructed in 1883, served as Sultan Barghash’s traditional palace. On the island and throughout East Africa, this historic palace is a well-known building. The structure was the first in East Africa to have both electricity and an electric lift. It serves as a representation of Zanzibar’s past now and is used as a museum. Explore the museum to find out more about the island’s history and culture.
Old Fort, Zanzibar
One of Stone Town’s main tourist attractions is the Old Fort. The Omani Arabs who had taken control of Zanzibar in 1698 constructed it in 1700. The interior wall shows the ruins of a Portuguese church that once stood here. Throughout the nineteenth century, the fort housed prisoners. It served as a railroad line terminal between Bububu and Zanzibar town in the following century. A beautiful view of the sea can be seen from the western wall. The information desk has details about the shows and times, and a piece of the fort has been transformed into an amphitheatre. The fort also has shops selling spices and other goods.
Old Indian Dispensary
The Old Indian Dispensary, also known as the Ithnashiri Dispensary, is a significant historical structure in Zanzibar’s Stone Town. It is situated on Mizingani Road, halfway between the Palace Museum and the harbour. Tharia Topan, a wealthy Ismaili Indian merchant, built it as a charitable hospital for the poor to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.
The Dispensary, with its elaborately carved balconies, stucco work, and stained glass windows, is one of the most opulent of the old Zanzibar structures. It is a representation of Zanzibar Town’s rich tradition and multi-cultural architecture. The main structure was built with traditional Zanzibari coral rag and limestone, and the walls are decorated with stucco adornments with European influences. The woodwork carved balconies and stained glass embellishments are of Indian influence. An impressive covered courtyard with carved bridges connecting the levels can be found inside the Dispensary.
Maruhubi Palace Ruins
The Maruhubi Palace ruin is approximately 4 km north of Zanzibar town, and it is a short distance from the beach. Sultan Barghash, the third Arab Sultan of Zanzibar, constructed the palace sometime around 1880. It was where he lived with his wife and many concubines.
The enormous stone columns that formerly supported the spacious balcony on the upper floor were among the remnants of the palace after it was destroyed by fire. There there was a lovely garden where the Royals would host visitors. The palace remains can be explored by those who are interested in learning more about the area’s history. Local fishermen now build and repair their fishing dhows on the sandy beach behind the palace, which they utilize as a makeshift shipyard.