Fort Jesus Museum

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P. O. Box 82412, Mombasa, Kenya
041 2222425

Fort Jesus Museum Mombasa Reviews

mereteb1982 mereteb1…
20 reviews
Touristy but worth it Mar 27, 2012
Fort Jesus is Mombasa’s most popular tourist attraction. The fort, located along the coastline near the Old Town, is a monumental piece of architecture that was built in the 16th century by the Portuguese. The fort has a museum that displays various artifacts from the era where Mombasa served as a transit point for the slave trade and commodities, and which enjoyed regular visits by seafarers and the like. Its interior comprises of torture rooms and prison cells where slaves were kept in captivity before being traded. Weapons such as canons, which were used to defend the fort from invading foreigners as well as rioting locals, can be seen both inside and outside of the fort. The fort opens its gates for viewing in the morning and closes at dusk.

It might be a good idea to hire a guide to take you around the fort, since it's a lot of history but not so many plackets or signs. We had a really nice guide who first guided us around the fort and then took us for a walk around in the old town showing us the market and told us about lots of the buildings and places we passed. The guides usually stand in front of the fort and are more than willing to take you around. But agree on a price before you choose, we walked around for almost 5hours and paid him I think 500ksh.But worth every penny! ;)
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Suusj Suusj
198 reviews
Fort Jesus Mombasa Feb 15, 2011
Fort Jesus Mombasa is located near the old town.

It was build by the Portuguese in 1593.

Taken over by the Arabs in 1698

In 1895, when the British came an concord, it became a goverment prison.

In 1958 it was declared a national monument.

A legend says that the Fort got it's name to the fact that if you look at the Fort from above it looks like a crucified man. An other storie says that it was named after the sultan of Oman, Isa Bin Tarif, who took over the Fort in 1837.

I really liked fort jesus. It still looks good an gives you a good idea of the old days.

Fort Jesus also houses a museum witch tells you about Kenya en espacilly the Mombasa area.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
haskiwan haskiwan
3 reviews
Tourist destination Jul 06, 2011
Between 1631 and 1875 the fort was won and lost nine times by the nations contesting control of Mombasa. It was declared a historical monument in 1958. Today it houses a museum.

The fort was designed by an Italian architect, Jao Batisto Cairato, who was the Chief Architect for Portuguese possessions in the East. It was the first European-style fort constructed outside of Europe designed to resist cannon fire. Today, it is one of the finest examples of 16th century Portuguese military architecture, which has been influenced and changed by both the Omani Arabs and the British. The fort quickly became a vital possession for anyone with the intention of controlling Mombasa Island or the surrounding areas of trade. When the British colonised Kenya, they used it as a prison, until 1958, when they converted it into a historical monument. James Kirkman was then assigned to excavate the monument, which he did (with a large use of external historical documents) from 1958 to 1971.
bluelady83 bluelady…
3 reviews
affordable sight seeing May 31, 2011
Fort Jesus is a fort that was built by the Portuguese in 1593 to safeguard the coast of Mombasa which they had invaded. A visit to fort Jesus will allow you to learn about the Swahili culture and the influences that gave rise to it. For those who love historical sites this is one of the best sites in Mombasa Kenya. While at fort Jesus make sure you check out old town Mombasa and get a glimpse of the famous Swahili doors hand crafted. Also, don't forget to get souvenirs for friends and family at the curio shops nearby.
Africancrab Africanc…
777 reviews
Portuguese Fortress & Trading Post Aug 07, 2009
Mombasa, Kenya was my home base for a few years in the late nineties and I loved living in the mix of old town setting with wide open beaches. Peter and I lived in North Coast Mombasa after leaving the German home base of Diesen. North Coast Mombasa is the first arrival destination to the coastal area of Kenya. I did manage to visit all corners of Mombasa while I lived there, especially the down town area and South Beach in Diani where I spent long hours either shopping or people watching at the Beach. Peter did a lot more travelling for work, so I found I had plenty of time on my hands when he was gone.

Fort Jesus in Mombasa is a tourist attraction and has a historical significance being that it was once a Portuguese Fortress. In 1498 the Portuguese explorer Vasco De Gama arrived in Mombasa on his route to India. Fort Jesus was built as a base after the Portuguese had been masters of the East African coast for almost a century (one hundred years), wow!. During this time the Portuguese also built a base in the town of Malindi to fortify their bases in East Africa. The history is fascinating indeed: Fort Jesus is located on the edge of a coral ridge overlooking the entrance to the Old Port of Mombasa about a mile from the old Swahili town. It was built by an Italian architect, Giovanni Battista Cairati. It is quite something of a history; most of it was ruined though.

Attractions of Fort Jesus include its very architectural design with re entry angles of two land bastions. For the year it was built it, it is amazing what this Italian architect did. The walls were fortified for resistance; they all lie in ruins now as it tells of a history so grim. This is also a great place to learn m ore about the history of East Africa. On occasion I found large families of American tourists some of who were tracing their roots while others came as part of an African Safari adventure trip. There is always a sad feeling around the Fort; the waves from the ocean seem to re-sound the voices long gone. The fortress (what is left of it) provides a beautiful vantage point to see the ocean as well.

If you do not like history and are not an architecture 'freak' like me, you will find it a waste of time as nothing much is left of it. But is it the history of Mombasa as with it came the Portuguese influence, Arabic, Indian and Turks.

Other attractions around Fort Jesus include

1) The Mosques

2) The old Town where the old market is

3) The Hindu Temple

4) The Seafood markets

If you have come as far as Fort Jesus, you might as well hit the beaches of North Coast. Or Take an afternoon and visit Diani beach on the South Coast, I promise you will not regret it. Quite simply beautiful.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy

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