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Beit al Ajaib (House of Wonders) in Stone Town Zanzibar | Coastweek

Beit al Ajaib (House of Wonders) — in Stone Town, Zanzibar City (1907). The House of Wonders Zanzibar (2010). The House of Wonders or Palace of Wonders (in Arabic: Beit-al-Ajaib) is a landmark building in Stone Town, Zanzibar. It is the largest and tallest building of Stone Town and occupies a prominent place facing the Forodhani Gardens on the old town’s seafront, in Mizingani Road. It is located between the Old Fort and the Palace Museum (and former Sultan’s Palace). It is one of six palaces built by Barghash bin Said, second Sultan of Zanzibar, and it is said to be located on the site of the 17th-century palace of Zanzibari queen Fatuma. The House of Wonders currently houses the Museum of History and Culture of Zanzibar and the Swahili Coast. The palace was built in 1883 for Barghash bin Said, second Sultan of Zanzibar. It was intended as a ceremonial palace and official reception hall, celebrating modernity, and it was named “House of Wonders” because it was the first building in Zanzibar to have electricity, and also the first building in East Africa to have an elevator. PHOTOS WIKIPEDIA - FRANKFURT AM MAIN UNIVERSITY CENTRAL LIBRARY and MOONGATECLIMBER

Zanzibar Island to refurbish historical building to boost tourism

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania’s semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar is set to refurbish the largest and tallest building in its world heritage site stone town to woo tourists.

Issa Haji Ussi, Minister of State, President Office and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council of Zanzibar, told Xinhua on Sunday that the move is one of the strategies aimed at boosting the number of tourists from the current 400,000 to 500,000 in the next three years.

"We’re looking for funds and Oman Government has agreed to support us in refurbishing the Palace of Wonders building located at the stone town of Zanzibar," the official said, without divulging the total cost of the project.

"Currently, the building houses the Museum of History and Culture of Zanzibar and the Swahili Coast," the minister said, revealing that the building is dilapidated and needs urgent refurbishment.

He said tourism is a foreign exchange earner for Zanzibar, "that’s why we’re coming up with a number of strategies to make it grow and woo as more tourists as possible."

Ussi also disclosed that Zanzibar is now eying for tourists from as far as Russia, China, and Middle East countries because for years it has been relying on those western countries, European countries and the United States.


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