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Notes on the Geography of Tanzania: Zanzibar: Photo 57

world pictures Tanzania: Zanzibar

The view inland from the Beit al-Ajaib is interesting on two counts. First because it shows the Catholic church and the minaret of the Bagh Muharmi mosque, one of an incredible 50 mosques in Stone Town. Second because it shows the Europeanization of the city's construction methods. How so? A panoramic photograph from 1875 by John Kirk shows the buildings all with flat roofs, an Omani import poorly suited to a wet climate. A comparable photograph from the 1920s, on the other hand, shows the roofs as they appear here, with peaked roofs to shed water. (For Kirk's photographs, see Zanzibar: a Plan for the Historic Stone Town, by Francesco Siravo, 1996. For the 1920s, see Lanchester, mentioned above.)

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