Stone town is regarded as Zanzibar's capital. The town was named after the coral stone buildings, largely built during the 19th century. The town is known for its narrow alleyways, large carved wooden doors and covered balconies. The doors are part of the Swahili culture and were largely influenced by Arab and especially Indian motifs.
The large brass studs on the doors became decoration after having served as spike covers to protect the inhabitants from elephant raids during the Indian wars. The town currently houses over 16,000 people and is home to 51 mosques, 6 Hindu temples and 2 Christian churches. The people are extremely diverse and fascinating. A walk through the town will show you just how interesting the place is. On the waterfront is an old tree known as "The Big Tree". Some locals believe that Sultan Khalifa planted it in 1911. Many locals hang out here, and it is a good spot to find a driver to take you out to the surrounding islands.
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