Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Old Dispensary

Old Dispensary, Zanzibar © Moongateclimber
Old Dispensary, Zanzibar © Moongateclimber

An architectural symbol of Zanzibar's diverse cultures and histories, the elaborate Old Dispensary was so named because it once housed a pharmacy, dispensary, and doctor. An affluent Ismaili Indian merchant, Tharia Topan, who financed the building project, laid the first brick 1887 and the building was completed in 1894. One of the most decorative buildings of the time, the Old Dispensary is adorned with ornate carved balconies, stuccowork, and stained glass windows. Restored in the early 1990s, it had a small museum which displayed old photographs of Stone Town's waterfront, but the upper floors are now mostly empty. For a stunning view of the harbour, visit the upper veranda, which is open for visitors. There are also some curio shops on the ground floor. The Old Dispensary is a beautiful building and worth passing by and photographing at the very least.

Address: Malindi Road, Stone Town