August 12, 2013
Monday Geology Picture(s): A Coral Palace in Zanzibar
Posted by Evelyn Mervine
This week I’m continuing with sharing some pictures from my recent vacation in Zanzibar back in June 2013. There is plenty of coral around Zanzibar, and my husband and I noticed that many of Zanzibar’s buildings– both ancient and modern– have been built with coral blocks. As an example, the picture above shows a coral building stone in the Princess Mtoni Ruins, the remains of the childhood home of Princess Salme, a Zanzibari princess who in the 1860s eloped with a German merchant, converted to Christianity, and changed her name to Emily Ruete. While living in Germany, Emily / Princess Salme wrote an excellent book about her life: Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar. I read the book while I was in Zanzibar and highly recommend it. The book provides a rare, rich, colorful glimpse of Zanzibar– or at least of Zanzibari royal life– in the mid-1800s.
My husband and I visited the Mtoni Palace Ruins one morning on our way to Stone Town. We spent half and hour or so strolling through the ruins. Much of the Mtoni Palace that Princess Salme described in her memoirs has been destroyed or is in ruins, but the seaside palace is still definitely worth a visit. There are some interesting baths and toilets, and there are some beautiful arched doorways. I believe that much of the palace is constructed out of coral rock.
Here are a few more pictures from the Princess Mtoni Ruins: