Portuguese Conquest of the Swahili town of Kilwa Kisiwani, 1505

Kilwa Kisiwani in 1502 had submitted to Vasco da Gama; however, the Sultan discontinued to pay tribute.
On July 24th 1505 the Portuguese, commanded by Francisco de Almeida, conquered the Swahili town of Kilwa Kisiwani, located on an island off the coast of modern Tanzania. They encountered little resistence; the Sultan's palace fled just before the Portuguese arrived. The city, of c. 5,000 inhabitants, was plundered and burnt down; the Portuguese constructed Fort Gereza. In 1512 Kilwa was retaken by an Arab force.

Kilwa Kisiwani, from African Urban Heritage Foundation
Kilwa past and present, from Swahili Coast
Article Kilwa, from EB 1911
Kilwa Kisiwani, from EMuseum at Minnesota State
DOCUMENTS Hans Mayr : The Voyage and Acts of Dom Francisco 1505, from Modern History Sourcebook, long paragraph on Kilwa
Lists of rulers of traditional states within Tanzania, from World Statesmen by Ben Cahoon (lists until 1962)
List of the Sultans of Kilwa, 957-1513, from Regnal Chronologies, scroll down for Kilwa
Image : Kilwa 1572 (Braun-Hogenberg), from Historic Cities

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 11th 2004, last revised on November 18th 2004

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