Fort Jesus – Is Mombasa ’s most popular tourist attraction.
Fort Jesus, located in Mombasa island along the coastline near the Old Town and the Old port, is a monumental piece of architecture that was built in 1593 by the Portuguese. It lies a distance of about 490-km from Kenya’s capital city,Nairobi.The Portuguese built the fort to protect their trade route to India and their interests in East Africa.
Fort Jesus was built to secure the safety of Portuguese living on the East Coast of Africa. It has had a long history of hostilities of the interested parties that used to live in Mombasa. Perhaps no Fort in Africa has experienced such turbulence as Fort Jesus. Omani Arabs attacked the Fort from 1696 to 1698.
Between 1837 and 1895, the Fort was used as barracks for the soldiers. When the British protectorate was proclaimed on the 1st of July 1895, the Fort was converted into a prison. The huts were removed and cells were built. On the 24th October 1958, Fort Jesus was declared a National Park in the custody of the Trustees of the Kenya National Parks. Excavation was carried out and the Fort became a Museum in 1962. The Fort is now an important historical landmark in the East African region.