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Things to see in Zanzibar
By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor


Zanzibar is made up of an island bearing the same name as the archipelago, and a second, smaller island called Pemba.


An elegant fusion of Arab, African and Indian styles, the Swahili architecture designed houses in Zanzibar to have a sober facade, decorated with a beautifully sculpted wooden door that indicates the social status of its owner. Some of these doors are passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years. Sea figures, chains (symbols of security), verses from the Qur'an and lotus flowers (of Indian influence) are among the common motifs.
The architectural golden age began with capital of Oman being transferred to Zanzibar in 1840. In Omani houses, the lower rooms are left to the staff while the owners live in the higher, cooler rooms. A screen hides part of the courtyards so that women are not seen in public.