Old Dispensary Palace Museum Arab Fort House of Wonders Forodhani Gardens Unesco World Heritage Site Market Anglican Cathedral Persian Baths Slave Market St. Joseph's Cathedral Zanzibar map High Court National History Museum Peace Memorial Museum Old DispensaryPalace Museum Arab Fort House of WondersForodhani GardensUnesco World Heritage Site MarketAnglican CathedralPersian Baths Slave MarketSt. Joseph's Cathedral High Court National History Museum Peace Memorial Museum

The House of Wonders:

The House of Wonders (Beit-al-Ajaib) is a very large square-shaped building, with several stories, surrounded by tiers of pillars and balconies, and topped by a large clock tower. It was built in 1883 as a ceremonial palace for Sultan Barghash and was the first in Zanzibar to have electric light and an electric lift. Not surprisingly, when it was built, the local people called it Beit el Ajaib, meaning the House of Wonders. It was damaged in 1896 during the Shortest War in History (only lasting 40 minutes), the palace was the target of British bombardments intended to force the Sultan Khalid bin Barghash, who had tried to seize the throne after the death Sultan Hamad, to abdicate in favour of a British nominee. After its rebuild, Sultan Hamad, who ruled Zanzibar from 1902 to 1911, used its upper floor as a residential palace until his death.