The Old Fort/ Arab Fort

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Overview of the Old Fort

The Old Fort (Arab Fort), also known as Ngome Kongwe in Swahili and by other names, is a former fortification located in Zanzibar Stone Town. It is the oldest building and one of the tourist attractions of Stone Town. Positioned along Mizingani Road, adjacent to another landmark building of the city, the House of Wonders, and facing the Forodhani Gardens.

It was built by Omani Arabs after expelling the Portuguese in 1699. It was used as a garrison and prison in the 19th century, and as a terminal of the Zanzibar railways 1905-28, this rail way connected Stone Town to the village of Bububu. The Fort now serves as the headquarters of the Zanzibar international film festival.
The Old Fort is one of the popular tourist attractions in Stone Town, and its courtyard has been adapted to serve as a cultural centre with curio shops selling souvenirs such as paintings, sculptures, Traditional clothes; it also has an open-air amphitheatre where live dance and music shows are held during the festival such as the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) and the Sauti za Busara.

Old Fort/ Arab Fort Gallery

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