Located in the main island of Zanzibar, Stone Town is the older part of the city and its cultural heart and soul. Most of the houses in Stone Town were built in or about the 19th Century and little has changed in the 200 years since. The main construction material was Zanzibar coral rock which is strong but easily eroded resulting in a beautifully aged, natural looking city that throws you back in time to an age where Arab merchants and rulers lived to outdo each other in the size and style of the buildings. While most of the buildings have been renovated, this style is still reflected in the many different designs of the brass-studded, intricately carved wooden doors. A walk around Stone Town will take through a fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys ways.
Stone town is the ultimate historical destination. It is located in Ugunja, the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago, in a part the locals refer to as Mji Mkongwe (Swahili for “old Town”). As the former capital of the Zanzibar Sultanate, Stone Town has many monuments and historical landmarks that chronicle the many changes it has gone through over time. It has been a melting pot of different cultures including African, Arabic, Indian, Persian and European. The predominantly 19th Century architecture of Stone Town reflects this mixture which has over time influenced the evolution of Swahili culture.
The major landmarks and places of interest in Stone Town include; the Palace of Wonders – the former Sultan’s residence, Old Fort – built by the Omanis, Old Dispensary, Palace Museum, Christ Church – 19th Century Anglican Cathedral, St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hamamni Persinan Baths, David Livingstone’s House, Tippu Tip’s House, High Court of Justice, the Agha Khan Mosque, and the Malindi Mosque. Other places of interest are; Forodhani Gardens, Darajani Market, Peace Memorial Museum, the Big Tree, Prison Island and Jaw’s Corner.