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Fort Jesus

Fort Jesus

Fort Jesus

Fort Jesus (Nkrumah Road, Mombasa) — this is one of the most outstanding historical sites and preservations of the 16th century. It was built and designed by Giovanni Battista Cairato for the Portuguese with the aim of protecting the port of Mombasa from foreign invasion. It has had a long history of hostilities of the interested parties that used to live in Mombasa. Perhaps no fort in Africa has experienced such turbulence as Fort Jesus.

Omani Arabs attacked Fort Jesus from 1696 to 1698. When the British protectorate was proclaimed on July 1895, the Fort was converted into a prison. On October 1958, Fort Jesus was declared a National Park in the custody of the Trustees of the Kenya National Parks. Excavation was carried out and the Fort became a Museum in 1962. The Fort is now an important historical landmark in the East African region.

The British and Portuguese influence is seen in the various cannons found on the Island while the Oman Arabs marked their occupation with Koran inscriptions into the wooden door posts and ceiling beams. A Muslim influence can also be seen throughout the fort in the use of the 5 pillars and is seen most clearly in the former meeting hall that is supported by 5 stone pillars that reach to the ceiling. Exhibits also include the Portuguese frigate; Santo António de Tanná which sank off Fort Jesus in 1698 during a siege.

Admission: KES 1,200 (tourist adult), KES 200 (Kenyan adult), KES 600 (tourist child), KES 100 (Kenyan child). Hours: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm.