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STONE TOWN

Zanzibar Door  The House of Wonders 

Stone Town StreetHenna decoration

The Stone Town i s the old city and cultural heart of Zanzibar; today a world heritage site .

The town is built on a triangular peninsula of land and consists predominantly of Arab combined with a blend of Indian and European architecture.

It is a place of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses whose original owners vied with each other over the extravagance of their dwellings.

There are currently about 1,700 buildings in Stone Town, out of which 1,100 have been classified as having architectural significance.

Forodhani night market Dhow 

Stone Town BohoraMosque Zanzibar Market

The town also has 23 landmark buildings, two cathedrals, over 50 mosques, 157 balconies, verandas and loggias, around 250 carved doors and of course the famous fort built by the Omanis right in front of Forodhani Park .

By the middle of the 18 th century, the Zanzibar archipelago was the world's largest producer of cloves, and the largest slave trading centre on the East African coast.

Slaves were used for the cultivation and harvesting of cloves and the first Sultan Said owned so much land that by his death in 1856, he had 45 plantations. Plots were also acquired by his children, and by the many concubines and eunuchs from the royal harem.

Over time, several other spices such as cinnamon, cumin, ginger, pepper and cardamom were introduced. Their rich scent became synonymous with Zanzibar, which became known as the 'Spice Islands'.