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Fort Jesus

Fort Jesus is a historical monument with remnants of historical and cultural attractions along the Kenyan coast near Mombasa Old Town. Fort Jesus was strategically built facing the Indian Ocean for clear view of all activities at sea.

Fort Jesus was the first European style fort constructed outside of Europe and designed to resist cannon fire. The inhabitants of the Fort had faced so much turbulence from parties interested in seizing the port of Mombasa.

The fort is a monumental piece of architecture built in the 16th century (1593) by the Portuguese to protect their trade route to India and their interests in East Africa. Although the fort was built to secure the Portuguese safety at the Coast, it attracted hostilities from other interested parties who lived in Mombasa during its reign.  These included traders from Asia and Europe and other African countries.

For example the Oman Arabs attacked the fort between 1696 and 1698. lt was re-occupied by the Portuguese and  used as barracks. It changed hands nine times between 1631 and 1895 when it was taken by the British after the British Protectorate was proclaimed and converted into a prison.

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Today, Fort Jesus is a World Heritage site and a museum exhibiting a wide variety of coastal heritage. Having withstood years of constant battle and humid climate, Fort Jesus has retained a classic fair look with a refreshing trail of narratives behind it. It is clearly one of Kenya’s most remarkable and highly valued monuments of all time.


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