Stone Town Is on the west coast of Zanzibar about 45mins away
Stone town Flourished as a trading centre the19th century and was well known for its Spices and Slaves
In the last decades of the 19th century the sultans gradually lost their control of east Africa to Germany and the UK. By 1890 Zanzibar became a protectorate of Britain. A sudden rebellion of the Zanzibar Omanis was crushed in what was to become the shortest war in history, the sultan surrender after only 45 mins of a navel bombardment by the British
During British rule, Stone Town remained a relatively important trading centre. Slavery was finally abolished in 1897
In 1964, Stone Town was the theatre of the Zanzibar Revolution that caused the removal of the sultan and the birth of a socialist government led by the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP). Several refugees, especially Arabs and Indians, escaped the island as a consequence of the revolution. When Tanganyika and Zanzibar joined to form Tanzania, Stone Town kept its role as a capital and government seat for Zanzibar, which was declared to be a semi-autonomous part of the newborn nation.
Due to its long history Stone Town has numerous historical buildings
- The House of Wonders – Former Sultan’s residence, now a museum
- The Old Fort – now a cultural centre with shops, workshops, and a small arena where live dance and music shows are held daily.
- The Old Dispensary – After falling into decay in the 1970s and 1980s, the building was later accurately restored by the AKTC
- The Palace Museum – It was built in late 19th century, and now hosts a museum about the daily life of the Zanzibari royal family,
- The Hamamni Persian Baths – a complex of public baths built at the end of the 19th century by Shirazi architects, The baths were functional until 1920.
- David Livingstone’s House – David Livingstone lived in the house while preparing his last expedition to the interior of Tanganyika.
- The Aga Khan Mosque – A large mosque with an architecture that combines Islamic and gothic elements
Other places of interest
- The Darajani Market – The main bazaar of Zanzibar, and is one of the main visitors attraction of Stone Town because of its colourful, chaotic maze of shopping stalls
- The Forodhani Gardens – Every evening after sunset the gardens host a popular, tourist-oriented market selling grilled seafood and other Zanzibari recipes
- The Peace Memorial Museum – It has several exhibits on the history of Zanzibar, including some of the medical tools of David Livingstone
- Prison Island – A small colony of Aldabra Giant Tortoises on the island is a popular visitor attraction.