• Creator
  • Sultan Said Seyyid?; Juli McGruder
  • Created Date
  • Palace complex was built in the 1830s by Sultan Said Seyyid (1791-18-56), founder of Busaidi dynasty. After building the palace complex he moved his capital from Oman to Zanzibar (1840). Complex included palace itself (Beit al-Sahel), harem building (Beit al-Hukm) and "The House of Wonder" (Beit al-Ajaib). These were connected by wikios (covered upper story walkways). The central building (the harem) and much of the ornate wooden portion of the Palace itself were destroyed when the English bombarded the complex in 1896. In the same bombardment the clocktower that stood before the House of Wonder was ruined. In rebuilding the House of Wonder, builders incorporated the clock tower into the main building, as it is seen in these photo. This structure was apparently considered quite an architectural marvel in its time; the exterior support columns are metal. (cf. pp 52-63 in Sheriff's "Historical Zanzibar," and p 68 in Colonial Offices's "Introducing East Africa.")
  • Description
  • Panorama spans from People's Palace (formerly Sultan's palace) to Ras Shangani (westernmost point of the island) with sultan's palace complex most prominent.
  • Format
  • image
  • Rights
  • Juli McGruder