Sunday, December 26, 2010

Zanzibar, Stone Town

Stone Town is a city of historical and artistic importance in East Africa. Its architecture, mostly dating back to the 19th century, has a number of distinctive features, as a result of Arab, Persian, Indian, European, and African traditions mixing together.

The heart of Stone Town mostly consists of a maze of narrow alleys sided by houses, shops, bazaars and mosques.

Since most streets are too narrow for cars, the town is crowded with bicycles and motorcycles that can seem quite deadly at times.

The name "Stone Town" comes from the use of coral stone as the main construction material; this stone gives the town a characteristic, reddish warm color.

The most well-known feature of Zanzibari houses are the finely decorated wooden doors,with rich carvings, or

sometimes with big brass studs of Indian tradition.

Two main types of doors can be distinguished: those of Indian style have rounded tops,

while those of Arab (Omani) style are rectangular.

They truly are beautiful.

In the tradition of these beautifully carved doors, wood craftsmen now make a business of carving beautiful boxes that Zanzibar is becoming known for.

Caleb was excited to get close to a couple of Massai. He asked if he could shake their hands, and I said, “Of course.” I missed taking a picture with the first one who intimidated me a little, but I got the picture with the second one.

We walked and walked and Caleb got hotter and hotter, so I’ll end this post with a picture of Caleb getting relief from the heat.

More from Stone Town tomorrow.

1 comment:

The Spears Family said...

So glad you enjoyed your vacation. You look fantastic, by the way. I look like a hot, pregnant mess. Love you.