Sunday 3 July 2016

Doors of Zanzibar

'Do you know what my problem is?' I asked James as we walked through the streets of Stone Town, Zanzibar.

'You have an unhealthy obsession with doors', he retorted.
Now, I can't actually remember what I was referring to, when I asked the question, but James' response was pretty spot on.  

While in Cartagena, Colombia, I kept taking photos of door knockers. Meanwhile, I spent a disproportionate amount of time in Stone Town, taking photos of doors.

You have to admit, they are pretty impressive though.

We found these doors inside the 'House of Wonders', built in 1883 for the second Sultan of Zanzibar. It became known as the 'House of Wonders', as it was the first building in Zanzibar with electricity and it also had a lift.

Back out on the street, there were more doors to be seen! This one was part of the Mzingani seafront where we ate lunch. The brass knobs on this and other doors was a style copied from India, where they were said to prevent elephants from crushing the doors. No elephants here, but clearly the locals liked the style.

Doing some online research, I learnt that the older doors had square tops.

While the more recent style was circular at the top. I am not sure of the time difference, between 'older' and more recent, but the House of Wonders, built in 1883, has circular tops on its doors.

Zanzibar has become so well known for its doors that these styles have become known as 'Zanzibar doors'.

An inventory carried out in the 1980s, recorded 800 of these types of doors in Stone Town.

Unfortunately, as a result of a combination of neglect and theft, there are far fewer today. On the positive side, this made for fewer photo stops for me, which was good for James' sanity. (I am not sure what he has against doors).

Related posts
Trip Report: Tanzanian Safari
Knockers of Colombia!

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