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Zanzibar
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Destination Details

Zanzibar

The Maruhubi Palace is on the coast, about 4km north of Zanzibar Town. It was built in 1882 for Sultan Barghash (sultan from 1870 to 1888) and at one time he reputedly kept 100 women here: one official wife and 99 concubines. (The sultan himself lived at the palace in Zanzibar Town.) The palace's name comes from the original owner of the estate who sold the land to Sultan Barghash. 

The palace was built with coral stone and wood, and was reported to have been one of the most ornate on the island. Large walls were built around the palace grounds, thought to have been inspired by the park walls seen by Sultan Barghash on his visit to England in 1875. Unfortunately, the palace was destroyed by a fire in 1899. All that remains today is the great pillars which supported the upper storey, and the Persian-style bath-house. The separate bathrooms for the women, and the large bath for the sultan's own use, can still be seen. The original water tanks, now overgrown with lilies, also remain in the grounds of the palace. To the north of the pillars, at the back of the beach, is a small set of arches and steps; this was part of the palace's reception area. (The House of Wonders in Zanzibar Town contains a photo of the palace taken at the end of the 19th century when it was still in use.) 

To reach the palace, take the main road north out of Zanzibar Town towards Bububu. Pass Livingstone House on your right and, after a few kilometres, the Maruhubi Palace is signposted on your left. Dala-dalas on Route B run between the town and Bububu village, past the palace entrance gate.

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