A peak inside the Gem of Zanzibar – Stone Town!

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A peak inside the Gem of Zanzibar – Stone Town!

Stone Town is not just any town – it’s a delight for the senses not to be found anywhere else in the world!

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Stone Town is a city of prominent historical and artistic importance in East Africa. Also known as Mji Mkongwe (Swahili for “old town”), it is located in the old part of Zanzibar City, which is the main city of Zanzibar, in Tanzania.

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Its architecture, which mostly dates back to the 19th century, has STORIES to tell, as it reflects the diverse influences of Swahili culture – yet also giving a unique mixture of Arab, Persian, Indian and European elements.

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The buildings are honestly a feast for the eyes, despite their deteriorating condition. That only adds charm and character to the entire painting! Stone town was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000 due to it’s distinct archetecture.

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The most well-known feature of Zanzibari houses are the finely decorated wooden doors.

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You won’t find these giant wooden masterpieces anywhere else in the world! Elaborately carved with astonishing detail, the heavy doors in Stone Town are quintessentially ‘Zanzibar’, and served as a valuable glimpse into the homeowner’s place of origin, profession and economic status.

For example, the Indian doors were crafted by skilled tradesmen out of imported teak. The large brass studs have their origins in India, where they were once used as a defense against charging war elephants. In Stone Town, however, they were used only as decorative pieces and symbolic markers of wealth.

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Arab doors have intricately crafted frames with Arabic inscriptions at the top. The chain, lotus and pineapple are common and culturally significant motifs.

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The heart of Stone Town consists of a maze of narrow alleys lined by houses, shops, bazaars and mosques. The streets bustle along with bicycles and motorbikes as they are too narrow for cars. Stone Town can easily be explored on foot.

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Of course, the beaches in Zanzibar are RAVISHING, but this UNESCO World Heritage Site is definitely worth a stroll at some point during your holiday in which you feel like exploring. Trust me, it’s worth it – It is utterly captivating!

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I hope this has given you a good glimpse of a little town you may never have even heard of! Stone Town has an interesting history. Everything about this place will make you feel alive – from the melting pot of African, Arab, Indian and European cultures; the vivid shades of every color imaginable; the textures; the vibrant energy of the seafront and markets; and the locals who greet you with a “jambo!” (hello) and “karibu” (welcome) everyday!

To add to your itinerary, if you have been following me for a while, almost a year ago I wrote about the most unusual and amazing place to check out on the Indian Ocean off Zanzibar (which got a lot of buzz, thank you muah!). You can check that here:

https://karenskaleidoscope.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/the-rock-a-luxurious-fairytale-in-the-indian-ocean/

And OF COURSE I’m sure the main reason for your holiday would be for the astonishing beaches, with a day or so excursion to Stone Town, so I don’t want you to forget what that beautiful pond looks like 😁 —–>

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-Karen Bahri

 

 

 

 

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About kbahri114

Hi! I'm a luxury lifestyle blogger from New York City. My roots come from India and I grew up in a Punjabi home and was raised with Hindu traditions in America. I am extremely in touch with my culture thankfully, which is why I have a great appreciation towards all cultures of the world! We have been blessed with the gift of life on the planet earth. When I'm 90 years old lying on my death bed looking back at my life, I want to make sure I took full advantage of this beautiful life I was blessed with. I want to explore as much of this amazing world we live in and live life to the fullest! I knew traveling was something I had to start doing and will continue to do. I've always been intrigued by the world and different cultures. I have always wanted to explore and see as much of the world as I can! Life is all about experiences, meeting people, learning new ways and concepts and taking risks. This blog is meant to be fun & entertaining but it also provides my personal experiences and what you might expect to discover while traveling. It also will include fashion and beauty posts as well as random thoughts and stories, since a kaleidoscope is meant to be a colorfully shaken mix of entertainment! I hope you find my blog interesting, fun, funny & informative, but most of all entertaining!!

2 responses »

  1. Fantastic piece. I am making reservations!

    On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 1:05 AM, karenskaleidoscope wrote:

    > kbahri114 posted: “Stone Town is not just any town – it’s a delight for > the senses not to be found anywhere else in the world! Stone Town is a city > of prominent historical and artistic importance in East Africa. Also known > as Mji Mkongwe (Swahili for “old town”), it is l” >

    Liked by 1 person

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