Fort Jesus

Fort Jesus is a fortress in Mombasa, the largest port city of Kenya. It was built in 1593 by the Portuguese under Philip II by the Italian architect Giovanni Battista Cairato. The fortress is situated on the island of Mombasa.

They protected the entrance to the lagoon and the Old Port of Mombasa. They also served the Portuguese as a base on the route to India.

History of the fortress

The control of the fortress often changed:

The Portuguese time

  • Portuguese: 1593 - 1631
  • Sultan Dom Jeronimo from Mombasa: 1631 - 1632
  • Portuguese: 1632 - 1698
  • Sultan of Oman: 1698 - 1728
  • Portuguese: 1728 - 1729

The Portuguese returned only in 1729 again to Fort Jesus returns. Then they limited themselves henceforth to the direct connection between Goa and their possessions in Mozambique.

The Arab supremacy

Thereafter, the control of the fort changed hands several times between the sultans of Oman and his governor Hold ( Liwali ) from the family of the Mazrui, who tried as local rulers repeatedly to shake the Arab supremacy:

  • Sultan of Oman: 1729 - 1741
  • Liwali of Mombasa: 1741 - 1747
  • Oman: 1747
  • Liwali of Mombasa: 1747 - 1828 (with small British garrison Protection 1824)

1856 Mombasa and hence the fort was added to the Zanzibar part of the divided Omani Sultanate.

  • Zanzibar: 1856 - 1895 Military revolt and reconquest with British aid: 1875

Under UK and Kenya

1895 reached the fort by the lease of the Kenyan coastline of Zanzibar to Britain.

  • British: 1895 - 1963
  • Kenya: 1963

The British used the fort as a prison. In 1958, she was restored and declared a national monument. With the independence of Kenya, the entire, previously managed separately coastal strip nominally came to the Republic of Kenya.

Today, Fort Jesus is part of the Kenyan National Museums. 2011, it was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.