Monday, 16 November 2009

The doors of Stone Town

Zanzibar's Stone Town is rightly famous for its old wooden doors. They are intricately carved, and most of the decorations have some form of religious or cultural significance. We found them very beautiful and took lots of pictures. Here is a sample.

An example with Indian symbols. We never found out the significance of the leaves; can any reader help, please?

A beautiful example with Arabic script above. Can anybody email me to tell me what the script is saying, please?

The doors at the "House of Wonders" are simply enormous.

At this door (of a craft shop) the owner was just arriving as we passed. he left the door closed so we could take pictures and then invited us in to show us his Aladdin's cave of beautiful fabrics and objets.

Some old tramp spoiling the view of the door....

The spikes on some doors are of Indian origin. We are told that in ancient India elephants were used as battering rams to break down doors during seiges. The spikes, if long enough and sharp enough, prevented the elephants getting to the doors. (But there aren't any elephants on Zanzibar....)

Young girls at the door to Tippu Tip's house

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