- Zanzibar Commission for Tourism
- Community Tourism
- Cultural Centre
- Historical Museum
Stone Town's architecture has a number of distinctive features, as a result of Arab, Persian, Indian, European, and African traditions mixing together. The name "Stone Town" comes from the ubiquitous use of coral stone as the main construction material; this stone gives the town a characteristic, reddish warm colour.Traditional buildings have a baraza, a long stone bench along the outside walls; this is used as an elevated sidewalk if heavy rains make the streets impracticable, or otherwise as benches to sit down, rest, socialize. Another key feature of most buildings is large verandas protected by carved wooden balustrades. The most well-known feature of Zanzibari houses are the finely decorated wooden doors, with rich carvings and bas-reliefs, sometimes with big brass studs of Indian tradition.Two main types of doors can be distinguished: those of Indian style have rounded tops, while those in the Omani Arab style are rectangular. Carvings are often Islamic in content (for example, many consist of verses of the Qur'an), but other symbolism is occasionally used, e.g., Indian lotus flowers as emblems of prosperity.
Besides having interesting architectural features in most of its houses, Stone Town is punctuated with major historical buildings, several of which are found on the seafront; these include former palaces of the sultans, fortifications, churches, mosques, and other institutional buildings.
Art Deco detail of the Cine Afrique in Stone Town
While Stone Town was included in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites in 2000, this designation does not provide complete protection for the town's heritage. Despite the establishment of a Conservation Authority,[about 80% of the 1,709 buildings of Stone Town are in a deteriorating condition. As coral stone is very friable, frequent maintenance is needed for most of these buildings. Some major restoration projects (especially on the seafront) have been done in recent times by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture
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- Tourist guide