Must See Historical Sites at the Kenyan Coast
The Kenyan Coastal region is rich and diverse in culture. A holiday in Malindi offers fun, relaxation and breathtaking accommodations ensure that you and your loved ones get the best out of your vacations. A typical stay lasts about five days, offering plenty of downtimes that can be turned into a rewarding and knowledgeable escapade.
There are a number of places that have the magical ability to transport people back in time. Below are some of the most visited historically significant sites in Kenya. An excursion to the places will definitely make your trip to the coast worthwhile
VASCO DA GAMA PILAR
This historical monument is believed to be one of East Africa’s oldest standing landmarks, dating from as far back as 1498. Apparently, the original pillar was built at the Sultan of Mombasa palace by Vasco Da Gama, a Portuguese explorer who made several voyages on the Indian Ocean. Unfortunately, due to a disagreement with the Sultan of the day, the pillar was destroyed. The pillar has a cross at the top that conflicted with the beliefs of the predominantly Islamic populace. Da Gama had to explain to him that the Pillar was like a watchtower for sailors who were far at sea to know their bearing and where to dock through their binoculars. The enterprising leader saw the benefit of bolstering the spice trade that was synonymous with the region and restored the monument at its present-day Malindi location. Professional
JUMBA LA MTWANA
‘The Large House of the Slave’ meaning Jumba La Matwana in Swahili was part of a compound of structures containing The House of the Cylinder, The House of the kitchen, The House of Many Pools and the Great Mosque. Not much is known or documented on this site but attempts were made from 1972 by James Kirkman when excavation on the site began. The presences of a slave bay indicate that the settlement might have been abandoned in the early fifteenth century when uprisings and attacks were commonplace against thriving slave traders.
RUINS OF GEDE
The Gede Ruins are among the greatest hidden treasures in the world. The town was abandoned and left uninhabited despite the marvelous development, prime location and amazing architectural thought that went into putting the structure together. Today, the ruins have remained a research staple, after being declared a World Heritage Site, among archeologists in the coastal region who attempt to piece together the history that the area holds. What remains standing is a mosque, palace, several houses, pillar tombs and so much more
The Mnarani Ruins are a result of the Arab settlements with a bit of Portuguese influence that date back as far back as the 14th century. The flourishing trade at the time resulted in the development of the settlement, as the Arabs needed to grow roots that would establish their business acumen. However, the area was at a high ground, therefore, had a poor water supply. Constant attacks by the indigenous communities that resisted the slave trade led to the Arabs abandoning Mranani for other coastal towns. The Ruins now stand as evidence of life passed. The clean compounds and sprouting mangrove forests in the area offer a scenic beauty for taking beautiful pictures and meditation.
The ruins were first gazetted as Monuments in 1929 and managed by the National Museums of Kenya. They are commonly known as the Ruins of an Old Mosque by the locals. It is characterized by the presence of two mosques and some tombs.