When visiting Stone Town, you cannot miss the Old Fort. Its history tells the story of Zanzibar in a nutshell. Old Fort is one of the oldest buildings in Stone Town, originally built by the Portuguese in the 17th century and later re-built by the Omanis in the 18th century. It is free to visit, and cultural festivals and happenings are often organized in the inner courts of the fort.
The location of the Old Fort was first used by the Portuguese, who came to the islands in the 1500s. Very little remains of the original structure, but ruins include evidence of an old church.
The Old Fort got its current form when the Omanese came to defend Zanzibar against the Portuguese. This was in the late 1600s. The Omanis completely re-built the fortification.
During the Sultanate days and the British rule, there was a short train connection from Stone Town to Bububu village. The Old Fort was used as a terminal. The train runs from 1905 until 1930.
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