Kilwa Kisiwani

Kilwa Kisiwani was one of the city settlements of the Swahili Kingdoms located in modern-day eastern Tanzania coast established in around 800 AD by the Swahili people. Kilwa Kisiwani became another hub for trade where the Swahili merchants traded gold, silver, pearls, perfume, Persian goods and Chinese porcelain. At its peak Kilwa Kisiwani was thought to have about 12,000 residents. At Kilwa Kisiwani stone buildings were built for the housing of the residents in the region and also many ports and harbours to house their merchant ships. The Swahili people of Kilwa Kisiwani constructed the great mosque of Great Mosque of Kilwa in 900 AD.

The Great Mosque of Kilwa included a large octagonal bathing pool, numerous prayer halls, a dome in the ceiling, interlocking circular patterns for decoration, ablution area and stairways. In the nearby coastal town of Songa Mnara the Swahili people constructed at least 5 mosques, numerous homes and a palace. By 1000 AD the Swahili people of Kilwa Kisiwani had begun meeting their own coins which were used in trade. In 1310 AD the ruler of Kilwa Kisiwani who was an African Muslim named Sultan Al-Hasan Ibn Sulaiman constructed the large palace named Husini Kubwa. Husini Kubwa was built from coral stone comprises over 100 rooms, the palace also overlooks the Indian Ocean.

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