House of Wonders (Beit-el-Ajaib), Stone Town

1.9
#5 of 14 in Historic Sites in Zanzibar Island
Admire colonial and fin-de-siècle architecture at House of Wonders (Beit-el-Ajaib), a landmark building in Stone Town. Built in 1883 as a modern lavish palace for a pro-British sultan and slave trader, this extravagant building was the first in Zanzibar to have electricity and running water. Today, it houses a museum of local heritage. Learn about the culture of coastal and inland Swahili tribes, browsing through a collection of artifacts and photographs, and explore restored period rooms. Don't miss the highlight, a large mtepe, or traditional Swahili boat. Check out the cannons in the yard, and get a great view of the port and a historic fort. Put House of Wonders (Beit-el-Ajaib) at the forefront of your travel plans using our Zanzibar City tour builder app .
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House of Wonders (Beit-el-Ajaib) Reviews
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Google
3.7
TripAdvisor
  • It was a nice place to visit, but i missed the point where was the wonders in this house. Has lots of interesting stories and beautiful view. You will need 20 minuets to view the whole place. Have...  more »
  • The history of this building was interesting as the name relates to the fact that the building had water and electricity when built. Due to renovations we were not able to access the inside.  more »
  • A lot said about it on the different tours, currently closed for renovation, but doesn’t look like any work is being done on it. The palace museum is next door. Apparently according to 2guides the...  more »
Google
  • The House of Wonders is closed and possibly being restored. The same can be said of the Natural History museum and the nearby art museum. The Palace Museum is a different Palace and is worth a visit. It still has much of the furniture used in the early 20th century. The State House has no access. Hopefully more buildings will be open in the future.
  • Wonderful landmark building in Stone Town, Zanzibar. Largest tallest building in Stone Town, facing the Forodhani Gardens on the old town's seafront, in Mizingani Road. Lies between the Old Fort and the Palace Museum. It is one among the six palaces built by Barghash bin Said, second Sultan of Zanzibar and was built in 1883. First building to have electricity in Zanzibar and an elevator in East Africa. Light house which stood in front the building got destroyed in the Anglo-Zanzibar War of 27 August 1896 causing minor damage to Beit Al Ajaib. Renovation in1897 brought in Clock Tower into the façade of the building. It was a government office, a school and later a museum. After renovation it will shine fully with bygone glory. It is and will be one of Stone Town's major tourist attractions. Good luck.
  • Very very amazing the leading tower for sailors to unguja and it was the first building to have an electricity
  • Palace Museum not sure if knows as House of Wonders holds the richest history's of Zanzibar in a political and historical Sense It has well reserved treaties and original painted antiques of the sultans and the queen which were given as gifts by various famous Austrian Artist and have been in place since 1800's till date hence if you planning your trip to the beautiful island of Zanzibar be sure to be able to visit the Palace museum just next to the ferry and can be seen on your entry to stone town via the ferry as well. Has a perfect view of all the four islands next to it,Prison Island being the most famous of all.
  • Good place to hang out , during day & night time . Lots of food stalls
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