Sites & cities that bear the name of Zanzibar city

Zanzibar city

Today in : Tanzania, United Republic of
First trace of activity : ca. 1st century C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Μενουθιάς?, Menuthias?, Jiji la Zanzibar, مدينة زنجبار, Sansibar, zanjibār, زنجبار, Stone Town, مدينة زنجبار الحجرية‎, Mji Mkongwe, Ng'ambo

Description : Zanzibar City (or Zanzibar Town, often simply referred to as Zanzibar; Swahili: Jiji la Zanzibar; Arabic: مدينة زنجبار‎) is the capital and largest city of Zanzibar, in Tanzania. It is located on the west coast of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago, roughly due north of Dar es Salaam across the Zanzibar Channel. It also serves as the capital of the Zanzibar Urban/West Region, and qualifies as a district, formally known as Zanzibar Urban District. In 2012 its population was 223,033. Zanzibar City comprises two main parts, Stone Town and Ng'ambo (literally: "The Other Side"); the two areas are historically divided by a creek, now marked by a large street called Creek Road. Stone Town is the historical core of the city, former capital of the Zanzibar Sultanate; because of its unique architecture and culture, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Ng'ambo is a much larger, modern area that developed around Stone Town after the Zanzibar Revolution, with office buildings and large apartment blocks such as those of the Michenzani neighbourhood. n 1592, the first English boat arrived in port. In 1824, the Sultan Said bin Sultan, Sultan of Muscat and Oman of Oman established the capital of his Kingdom in the city. The city was a high place of slavery, one of the main ports of East Africa for the slave trade. In 1846, the island had 360,000 slaves for 450,000 inhabitants. In 1866, the British explorer David Livingstone (1813–1873) stayed in Zanzibar to prepare his last expedition to Tanzania. In 1892, Zanzibar was declared free port. Ancient pottery demonstrates existing trade routes with Zanzibar as far back as the ancient Sumer and Assyria. An ancient pendant discovered near Eshnunna dated ca. 2500-2400 BC. has been traced to copal imported from the Zanzibar region. Traders from Arabia (mostly Yemen), the Persian Gulf region of Iran (especially Shiraz), and west India probably visited Zanzibar as early as the 1st century AD, followed by Somalis during the Middle Ages with the emergence of Islam. They used the monsoon winds to sail across the Indian Ocean and landed at the sheltered harbor located on the site of present-day Zanzibar Town. Although the islands had few resources of interest to the traders, they offered a good location from which to make contact and trade with the towns of the Swahili Coast. A phase of urban development associated with the introduction of stone material to the construction industry of the African Great Lakes littoral began from the 10th century AD. Traders began to settle in small numbers on Zanzibar in the late 11th or 12th century, intermarrying with the indigenous Africans. Eventually a hereditary ruler (known as the Mwenyi Mkuu or Jumbe), emerged among the Hadimu, and a similar ruler, called the Sheha, was set up among the Tumbatu. Neither had much power, but they helped solidify the ethnic identity of their respective peoples. The Yemenis built the earliest mosque in the southern hemisphere in Kizimkazi, the southernmost village in Unguja. A kufic inscription on its mihrab bears the date AH 500, i.e. 1107 AD.

See on map »