Fort Jesus – a Crucial Part of the Slave Trade

Fort Jesus, necessitated by the Turkish,  designed by an Italian, run by the Portuguese, conquered by Arabs, and used to protect the trade routes from the Middle East and India, was named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

It’s obvious colorful past showcases just how crucial the East African port of Mombasa was to traders from both the East and the West.   It was also a critical player in the lucrative slave trade, with many slaves being walked from the inland to be shipped from the port.

Fort Jesus was where many of them were hidden when slave trading was deemed illegal, so, in essence, the slaves were smuggled into Fort Jesus and then smuggled out under cover of night.  The Fort was captured by the Omani Arabs, recaptured by the Portuguese, then fell back into the hands of the Arabs who held on to it for a while, controlling the trade in the East African region.

When the British captured Kenya, they used Fort Jesus as a prison before finally turning it into a historical monument.

To learn more about it visit the official website.

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