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Ruined palace, Kilwa Kisinani Island, East Africa

Ruined palace, Kilwa Kisinani Island, East Africa


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Ruined palace, Kilwa Kisinani Island, East Africa

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

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Media ID 14227458

© Mary Evans/Pharcide

Colonialism Derelict Omani Overgrown 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 ruins of a once grand palace on Kilwa Kisinani Island, located off the coast of present-day Tanzania in East Africa. The image, estimated to date back to the 1910s, provides a glimpse into the rich history of this ancient Omani trading center that flourished between the 10th and 16th centuries. During its peak, Kilwa Kisinani was a significant cultural and economic hub, attracting merchants from across the Indian Ocean. The island's rulers, who were vassals of the Sultan of Oman, built impressive structures, including palaces, mosques, and fortifications, showcasing their wealth and power. However, the passage of time and external invasions led to the decline of Kilwa Kisinani. By the 19th century, the island had been largely abandoned, and its once magnificent structures were left to the mercy of the elements. This photograph, taken during the German colonial era in East Africa, presents a hauntingly beautiful image of the ruined palace. The overgrown vegetation, worn-down stone walls, and crumbling arches tell a story of a bygone era. The palace, now a mere shadow of its former glory, stands as a testament to the passage of time and the complex history of this fascinating region. The ruins of Kilwa Kisinani offer a valuable insight into the ancient world of East Africa and its rich cultural heritage. They serve as a reminder of the complex interplay of trade, politics, and cultural exchange that shaped the region's history. Today, the site is a popular tourist destination and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracting visitors from around the world who seek to learn more about this fascinating chapter in African history.

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