Top 10 Best Cultural and Historical Buildings in Zanzibar

Top 10 Best Cultural and Historical Buildings in Zanzibar : For long time Zanzibar has come to be associated with best tourist attractions. Images of the archipelago’s white sand beaches, azure waters, and iconic dhows plying the waters fill hearts around the world with a sense of the archipelago’s immense beauty and mystery. It has long been known as a holiday and safari destination for having beautiful beaches with white sands and palm trees that sway around the beach according to the wind direction. Apart from being a popular beach vacation location, Zanzibar is also known for its rich historical and cultural heritage dating back to the colonial era. It is a Sunni Muslim society that is conservative, with Arabs, Persians, Indians, Portuguese, British, and the African mainland have had an impact on its history.

The archipelago has much darker historical roots as a former slave and trade port during its time as an Omani Sultanate territory, and the Arabic influence can still be seen when wandering the complex alleyways of historic Stone Town or in the Swahili language, which is a unique blend of local tribal languages and Arabic. Also Zanzibar’s Arabic roots may be seen in its bustling bazaars, distinctive architecture, and rich spice culture, which continues to play a vital role in the region’s economy. Zanzibar is surrounded by some of the old historical buildings that date back to the colonial era and should not be overlooked during your safari vacation on this spice island. The following is a collection of notable structures from Zanzibar’s past that you should see during your safari vacation or safari in Zanzibar.

  1. The House of Wonders

It is one of Zanzibar’s oldest and most historically significant structures and should be included in any Zanzibar safari itinerary. The House of Wonders (Beit-el-Ajaib), a well-known Stone Town structure, features colonial and fin-de-siècle architecture. This magnificent edifice, which was built in 1883 as a modern, sumptuous palace for a pro-British sultan and slave trader, was the first in Zanzibar to have electricity and running water. It now houses a museum dedicated to the history of the area. In the home of wonders, on your Zanzibar safari vocation Explore renovated historical chambers and learn about the culture of coastal and interior Swahili tribes by browsing through a collection of artifacts and images, Top 10 Best Cultural and Historical Buildings in Zanzibar.

Top 10 Best Cultural and Historical Buildings in Zanzibar
House of Wonders
  1. The Old Fort

Another must-see on your Zanzibar culture tour is this old historical edifice. Explore the Old Fort (Ngome Kongwe), a famous edifice in the Old Town and a popular tourist destination, with its high brown walls and multiple entrances. The fort, with its inner courtyard and crenelated stone battlements with upright merlons, embrasures, and entrances with pointed arches, has been converted into a cultural center dotted with curio shops. This is the oldest existing structure in Stone Town, built by the Omanis as a cover against the Portuguese in the 17th century. In the stores, you may buy Tiginga images and traditional handicrafts, or see a performance in the fort’s open-air amphitheater.

  1. Old Slave Market

On the site of the old slave market, a coral stone Canterbury-style Church of Christ, Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral was built when Zanzibar was a huge slaving hub under the British-supported Muscat and Oman Sultanates. Slave rooms in the dungeons of the historic Anglican Mission House, which is now a hostel, are located next to the church. The cathedral’s altar, which was built between 1873 and 1883, is thought to be built on the site of the former whipping post. This operational cathedral has a big rectangular bell tower with a clock, as well as a cross constructed out of the tree under which David Livingston’s heart was buried in 1873, Top 10 Best Cultural and Historical Buildings in Zanzibar.

  1. The Freddie Mercury Museum

The Freddie Mercury Museum, where the band’s frontman Freddie Mercury was born, has a collection of images of the iconic British rock band Queen. Farrokh Bulsara, the colorful musician, was born here in 1946 and raised in the area where his father worked as a civil official in the British colonial administration. Take a walking tour of the districts where Mercury spent his first nine years of life, as well as the Zoroastrian shrine where his India-born Parsi parents worshipped until 1964, when they moved to Essex.

Top 10 Best Cultural and Historical Buildings in Zanzibar
Freddie Mercury Museum
  1. The Palace Museum (Beit al-Sahel)

At the Palace Museum (Beit al-Sahel), a sumptuous three-story pavilion and former house of the Sultans of Zanzibar, you may tour recreated period rooms and witness sultan thrones. With an outstanding collection of antiques, the bottom level depicts the early years of the British-installed sultanate in the 19th century. See ceremonial furniture, a life-size painting of Queen Elizabeth II as a child, different portraits, banqueting tables, and the apartment of a princess who eloped to Hamburg in 1866 with a German merchant. In addition, the Sultans’ tombs can be seen in the royal gardens, and the terrace on the upper floor offers a spectacular view of the seaside. In the yard is a vintage Austin Princess luxury car, which was once used by the highest British colonial official.

  1. Maruhubi Palace Ruins.

Maruhubi Palace’s remains are about four kilometers north of Zanzibar Town and only a few steps from the beach. The palace was named after its previous owner, a member of the Al-Marhuby tribe from the Arabian Peninsula. Monarch Barghash, Zanzibar’s third Arab sultan, erected the palace between 1880 and 1882. Sultan Barghash lived in a separate palace in Zanzibar Town and used the palace to house his wife and up to 100 concubines. The fire that destroyed Maruhubi Palace in 1899 left just a few ruins, notably the huge stone columns that formerly supported a large wooden balcony that wrapped around the upper story. Separate restrooms for women and the Sultan’s own huge bathroom may still be seen in the old Persian-style bathhouse. It is another place where you can visit and try to date back on the life of Zanzibar, Top 10 Best Cultural and Historical Buildings in Zanzibar.

  1. Old Indian Dispensary.

In Stone Town, Zanzibar, the Old Dispensary, also known as the Ithnashiri Dispensary, is another historical building must see/ visit in your Zanzibar cultural safari vocation. It’s on Mizingani Road, halfway between the Palace Museum and the Harbour, on the seaside. It got its name from the fact that it used to be a dispensary in the early twentieth century. The Dispensary is one of Stone Town’s most ornately decorated structures and a representative of the city’s multi-cultural architecture and traditions. The major structure is built with traditional Zanzibari coral rag and limestone, but covered with stucco adornments of European neo-classical taste.

  1. Kizimkazi Mosque

The Kizimkazi mosque, located on the island of Zanzibar’s southern tip, is possibly the oldest Islamic structure on the East African coast, making it a must-see during your Zanzibar cultural safari vacation. This mosque is located in a little village known as Dimbani, three kilometers northwest of the town of Kizimkazi, which was recorded in the twelfth century as a large and fortified city.

Top 10 Best Cultural and Historical Buildings in Zanzibar
Kizimkazi Mosque
  1. Mangapwani Slave Chamber.

Trust me when I say that a historical or cultural tour to Tanzania and Zanzibar isn’t complete without a stop here. The Zanzibar Slave Chambers were created around 1880 from the cave and are 2 kilometers from the shore. At the time of the abolition of slavery in 1873, it was a key transit point for kidnapped slaves to be sold to the outside world, particularly in the Middle East.

The Slave Chamber is a square underground chamber with a roof that was fashioned out of coralline rock. The room was originally built to hold the slaves of Mohammed Bin Nassor Al-Alwi, a wealthy slave trader. Boats from the Tanzanian mainland’s Bagamoyo would discharge their human cargo on a remote beach, isolated from the larger Mangapwani Beach by coral-rock outcrops. The dirt walkway that connects the beach and the slave chamber is still in use today, Top 10 Best Cultural and Historical Buildings in Zanzibar.

  1. Livingstone House

Of all the 19th century European explorers in Africa, David Livingstone is undoubtedly the most well-known. Many of his travels started and finished in Zanzibar, and he lived in this house before embarking on his final quest to find the Nile’s source. Sultan Majid erected the home, which is located on the northeast edge of Stone Town, circa 1860. During the second part of the nineteenth century, it was utilized as a starting place for journeys into eastern and central Africa by Livingstone and other missionaries and explorers such as Burton, Speke, Cameron, and Stanley. Members of the island’s Indian community used the house for a variety of activities in the early twentieth century.

Top 10 Best Cultural and Historical Buildings in Zanzibar
Livingstone House

It was purchased by the colonial government in 1947 and converted into a scientific facility for clove infection research. Following independence and the revolution, it became the Tanzania Friendship Tourist Bureau’s Zanzibar headquarters, and then the Zanzibar Tourist Corporation’s main office (ZTC). The Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce, Industries, and Agriculture now has its headquarters in this ancient structure. It’s a lovely spot to visit and learn more about Zanzibar culture from the experts in this colonial-era building during your Zanzibar cultural safari vacation.