Museums and Art Galleries Guide for Zanzibar

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Zanzibar’s museums are the ideal destination to explore the heritage of the Zanzibar Islands. Zanzibar’s Stone Town was declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.

Although Zanzibar does not have very big number of art galleries and museums, The Old Dispensary, House of Wonders, The Old Fort, The Anglican Cathedral of Chris, the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Joseph, Sultan’s Palace are the most famous landmark for international visitors, particularly since they are conveniently placed within Stone Town. So, compare cheap Zanzibar tour packages and book your holiday now to experience all these historical locations:

Things to do in Zanzibar

House of Wonders

Built-in the late nineteen century as a ceremonial place, the House of Wonders is, in itself, a perfect piece of colonial architecture.  The mansion was eventually changed into a museum and opened to the public in 2005.

Even today, it is still extremely much a work in progress. Real exhibitions in the museum cover such topics as the maritime culture of the Swahili coast and the Indian Ocean, the architecture and history of Stone Town, Zanzibar industrial heritage, and the importance that the country played in the history of East Africa.

The first stop on any museum tour of Zanzibar should be the Zanzibar Museum of History and Culture. This museum is housed in a beautiful 19th-century building and contains exhibits on Zanzibar’s history, culture, and traditions. Visitors can explore exhibits on Swahili culture, slavery, and the island’s role in the spice trade.

For art lovers, the Zanzibar Gallery is a must-visit destination. This gallery features the work of local and international artists and showcases a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, and photography. The gallery’s beautiful space is a great place to spend an afternoon, soaking up the vibrant energy of Zanzibar’s art scene.

The Old Dispensary

The old dispensary boasts intricately carved balconies and different other decorations, which all reflect the multicultural nature of life in Stone Town. Built to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, it was intended that it would become a hospital. Anyway, these plans never came to execution in the end, it was used as a dispensary for drugs.

Following the revolution of 1964 in Zanzibar, the building has taken over by the administration, while restoration work starts in the 1990s. Today, the Old Dispensary is home to a little museum that is devoted to telling the story of the building’s restoration and the history of the waterfront area.

Another important museum in Zanzibar is the Palace Museum, which was once the residence of the Sultan of Zanzibar. This beautiful palace features exhibits on the island’s political and cultural history, as well as on the life of the royal family.

Peace Memorial Museum

The peace memorial museum in Stone Town has unhappily fallen victim to structural deterioration.  Hence, many of its most important shows have been moved to the House of Wonders.

Real African Art Gallery

Set up in 2001, this privately-owned art gallery in Stone Town is a showcase of East African artists. Works on display contain etchings, oil paintings, carvings, wood cuts, and Makonde statues.

So, download the free Zanzibar app to discover more top things to do in Zanzibar Island.

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