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Omani fortress, Kilwa Kisinani Island, East Africa

Omani fortress, Kilwa Kisinani Island, East Africa


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Omani fortress, Kilwa Kisinani Island, East Africa

Omani fortress, Kilwa Kisinani Island, German East Africa (now Tanzania). Date: circa 1910

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Media ID 14227454

© Mary Evans/Pharcide

Colonialism Derelict Fort Fortress Omani Ruin Ruined Tanzania Kilwa


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> Africa > Tanzania > Tanzania Heritage Sites > Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of

> Historic > Colonial history


EDITORS COMMENTS
This evocative photograph captures the majestic ruins of the Omani fortress on Kilwa Kisinani Island, located off the coast of present-day Tanzania in East Africa. Dating back to the 12th century, this historic site was once a thriving trading center and the capital city of the Kilwa Sultanate, which flourished under the influence of Omani and Swahili cultures. By the early 1910s, however, the island and its fortress had fallen into ruins, having been abandoned for centuries. At this time, the image was captured by an intrepid explorer or photographer, likely a European traveler or colonial administrator, during the period of German East Africa, which lasted from 1885 to 1919. The fortress, with its imposing walls and towering structures, stands as a testament to the rich history of the region and the complex interplay of African, Arab, and European influences that shaped its past. The crumbling masonry and overgrown vegetation add to the sense of mystery and intrigue, inviting us to imagine the stories of the people who once called this place home. Today, Kilwa Kisinani Island and its fortress are recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites, attracting visitors from around the world who come to explore their historical and cultural significance. This photograph serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring allure of the past and the importance of preserving our global heritage for future generations.

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