Stone town is old as the first told stories of its land and the first Arab traders. The Stone town was named from the ornate houses built with local stone by Arab traders and slaves.
There are many historical sites in stone town. Many tourists would like to see how true the history what they learnt. I can mention the historical place which is known as; the Palace of Wonders which is also known as “Be.it-al-Ajaib”. This is located on the Mizingani Road along the Stone Town seafront. It is the most well-known landmarks of Stone Town. It was used as a residence of Sultan. It became the seat of the Afro Shiraz Party after the revolution. Also, it was the first building in Zanzibar to have electricity as well as the first building in East Africa to have a lift. It also has been dedicated to a museum on Swahili and Zanzibar culture.
The old fort
Old Fort is often juxtaposed to the House of Wonders, and this was built by the Omanis. Also, Old Fort is known as the Omani fort that was built by the early rulers to protect the city from European invasions. It has a roughly square shape and the internal courtyard is now a cultural centre with shops, workshops, and a small arena where live dance and music shows are held daily. The fort location is also used for the Zanzibar international film festivals annually.
That has not finished yet but there is the palace museum known as the Sultan’s Palace. This is another former sultan’s palace, on the seafront, to the north of the House of Wonders. It was built in the late 19th century. Nowadays it hosts a museum about the daily life of the Zanzibar royal family, including items that belonged to Sayyida Salme who is a former Zanzibar princess. She fled to Europe with her husband at that time.
As well as there is an Anglican cathedral church located on Mkunazini Road, that was built at the end of the 19th century by Edward Steere. The Cathedral was constructed in a large area at the centre of Stone Town that after then became the biggest slave market of Zanzibar. Many slaves were brought into the slave market from different places as far as Congo. Then they were crowded into the underground cells known as slave chambers. These two underground rooms were used for keeping slaves before being auctioned at the market. Indeed the slaves were kept in terrible condition, so many slaves died of suffocation and starvation.
However, there is a Hamamni Persian bath which is also located in the historical building of stone town at Mkunazini. It is said that the name of Hamamni which is also used as referring to the neighbourhood. These baths were built by Sultan Barghash bin Said for using as public baths for cold and hot water.
There is also the Forodhani Garden. That is the small park in the main sea walk of Stone Town.in front of the Old Fort and the House of Wonders. The garden was recently restored by 3 million dollars by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Tourists and local people visit the gardens every evening after sunset for the market. You can buy grilled seafood and others which attract both tourists and locals. Also, it is the place with fresh air and most likely stands as an attraction of the Stone Town.
Apart from what mentioned above, there is also the Darajani market which is almost used for a local business like fishes, vegetables, car meat and so on. There are some spices sold for tourists which they would like to have. So, others sometimes go and get some information about the spice they need and they sometimes buy it.
These are the main places of stone town where the tourists would like to visit during the city tour and learn a good deal of things. Many of them prefer to go to some restaurants for getting the local attractive food after finishing the tour. And others when the time of the evening mostly like to go to Africa house for the sake of seeing the sunset.
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