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Kilwa Kisiwani
16 Century Ancient Ruins
 

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Kilwa Kisiwani
7 Days Selous Reserve Kilwa Kisiwani
 
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"The city large and elegant, its buildings, As typical along the coast, Constructed of stones and coral rag. Houses were generally single storied, consisting of a number of small rooms separated by thick walls supporting heavy stone roofing slabs laid across mangrove poles.
Some of the more formidable structures contained second and third stories, and many were embellished with cut stone decorative borders framing the entranceway. Tapestries and ornamental niches covered the walls and the floors were carpeted. Of course, such appointments were only for the wealthy; the poorer classes occupied the timeless mud and straw huts of Africa, Their robs a simple loincloth, their dinner millet porridge".
"Ibn Batuta"

By late 15th Century AD, Kilwa's fortunes changed. Portuguese conquered the island after one of their explorer "Pedro Alvares Cabral" visited Kilwa and reported seeing beautiful houses made of coral stones and terraces of "black moors" as Vasco da Gama called it when he past the island. In 1505 Portuguese established full control of the island with intention of taking absolute control of the lucrative Indian Ocean trade. They built a garrison and establish a strong trading post with Sofara (Beira in present days).
Today Kilwa has managed to preserve much of the scenery that attracted Ibn Batuta, Pedro Alvares Cabral, and Vasco da Gama. To preserve its beauty UNESCO declared Kilwa a World Heritage Site in 1981
The island is separated from the mainland by a 3 kilometers wide channels. The visitors should expect to see medieval ruins:-
The mosque, is considered to be (at that time) the largest in East African Coast. It has domed chambers, monolithic pillars, water tanks, and slabs for prayers.
Great House, which is believed to be the house of Imam or Sultan.
Small domed Mosque, the best preserved and most ornamental in Kilwa.
Mkutini Palace, built with great walls triangular in shape
Gereza (prison) which was built by Portuguese, dominating the view of the island from far.
The remarkable ruins however, is the HUSUNI KUBWA overlooking the Kilwa port, as early writers mentioned " it was the largest pre -European building in Equatorial Africa. 

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