Kenya-Fort Jesus, Mombasa

  • Topic: 500 to 1000 BP
  • Country: Kenya
  • Related Congress: 13th Congress, Dakar

This monumental piece of architecture was built in the 16th century by the Portuguese and is situated along the coast near Old Town. It was designed by Giovanni Battista and built by the Portuguese during 1593-1596 and it is the first European site built outside of Europe.  It houses a museum displaying various artifacts from the period when Mombasa served as a transit point for slave trade and commodities.  It was initially built to resist cannon fire but went on to become Mombasa’s trade centre and eventually became used for slaves during the colonization of Kenya by the British. Amongst artifacts found were weapons used during fights against the local people and foreign attacks. When viewed from above, the Fort resembles the shape of a man which reflects the Renaissance ideal that perfect proportions and geometric harmony are to be found in the human body. The monument has some spiritual significance attached to it hence it was named Jesus.

Back to search