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The Fort Jesus

Fort Jesus is Mombasa’s most popular tourist attraction and the first European-style fort constructed outside Europe. It is located in Mombasa Island, only three minutes walking distance to New Palm Tree Hotel, along the coast line near the Old Town.

 

The fort was built by the Portuguese in 1593 with orders from King Philip I of Portugal who was at that time the ruler of the joint Portuguese and Spanish Kingdoms. It was designed by the Milanese architect Giovanni Battista Cairati, the Chief Architect for Portuguese possessions in the East.

 

Between 1631 and 1875 the fort witnessed nine battles between nations contesting the ruling of Mombasa which used to be a major transit point for the slave trade.

 

The interior of the fort comprises mainly prison cells where the slaves were kept in captivity and torture rooms for punishing those resisting the slavery. Canons were used to defend the fort from the invading foreigners and the rioting locals.

 

The fort has been declared a historical monument in 1958 and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2011. The fort is the most outstanding and well preserved example of the 16th century Portuguese military strength.

 

Fort Jesus has always been a tourist destination popular with both foreign and local tourists.

 

Tourists who plan to visit Fort Jesus Museum and the near by sites like to stay at New Palm Tree Hotel which is very close to the museum. 

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