The World Heritage Committee inscribed Fort Jesus on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001
Located in Mombasa, in the coastal region of Kenya, the Fort Jesus was built by the Portuguese between 1593 and 1596, to guard the old port of Mombasa, and served as a place of safety and security for the Portuguese living on the East Coast; it had hostile interested parties who used to live in Mombasa, such as the Omani Arabs, who attacked the fort 1696 1698. Fort Jesus is one of the most outstanding and well preserved examples of 16th century Portuguese military fortification and a landmark in the history of this type of construction.
Fort Jesus also served as barracks for the Portuguese soldiers between 1837 and 1895. When it fell under the British rule in 1895, the fort was converted to a prison. On display at Fort Jesus, is a collection of preserved items over the years, dating back to the 14th and 19th century, that were used by Portuguese and Omani Arabs. Some of these items include an ancient Portuguese chair, Persian chest, drums, plates and gourds.
Outside the fort is a unique display of neatly arranged canons (superior weapons in the olden times) that were used to destroy enemies.
This is a perfect spot to indulge in history.
Spectacular Sound and Light Show
For those who want to learn more about the struggle for Fort Jesus, the Fort plays host to a spectacular sound and light show three nights each week. Visitors are welcomed into the Fort by guards in flowing robes brandishing flaming torches. They are led to a specially designed and choreographed show that uses lights, sound effects and costumed actors to bring to life the long and turbulent history of the Fort.
At the end of the show, a candlelit dinner is served in the open courtyard of the Fort, under the stars.
This wonderfully atmospheric night out is the perfect way to end the day, and learn more about the history of Mombasa.
The sound and light show can be combined with a sunset dhow cruise on Mombasa harbour.