Fortaleza de Sao Sebastiao, Mozambique Island

#2 of 10 in Things to do in Nampula Province
Dominating the northeastern tip of the island, Fortaleza de Sao Sebastiao serves as the oldest still-standing fort in sub-Saharan Africa. The Portuguese took nearly 50 years to build the structure in the second half of the 16th century. Scramble up the stairs and explore its vacant rooms of the colonial era--you might find you are the only one around, since the fort is way off the beaten path. The walls offer scenic views of the ocean crashing against the rocks. Stop at the nearby museum and ask for a guide if you wish to learn more about the fort's glory days. A small chapel behind the fort built in 1522 is the oldest European building south of the equator. Work out when and for how long to visit Fortaleza de Sao Sebastiao and other Mozambique Island attractions using our handy Mozambique Island trip builder .
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Fortaleza de Sao Sebastiao Reviews
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107 reviews
  • Ilha has within it two souls, the Portuguese city, that of Cidade de Pedra (Stone Town – Stone and lime), made of ruined palaces and the Cidade de Makuti (Makuti Town), named after the fresh palm trees (makuti in the local language) that cover the roofs of the mud houses , where most of the inhabitants now live. Since the handover of the Portuguese colony's capital in 1898, time for "Ilha de Mozambique" seems to have magically stopped. the sinister fortress of San Sebastiano, recently restored, suddenly stands in front of cracking this romantic image, reminding us of the more raw dark side of the colonial adventure. It is estimated that more than a million slaves left from that building to the Americas.
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  • This is a very interesting fort. You can walk around the walls and visit a small display of archaeological finds. Don't miss the chapel just outside the north wall. Magical little place, 500 years old...  more »
  • It was great! Ask for James for a tour guide! He was very knowledgeable and interesting!
  • Rich in history, pity not much is happening. It needs to be given a new life and a new meaning. Lots of battles were fought in this place and no one is really telling the stories properly, there are reports of a 6 months siege!
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