The Hamamni Baths
In the centre of Stone Town, east of St Joseph's Cathedral and northwest of Sultan Ahmed Mugheiri Road (formerly New Mkunazini Road), are the Hamamni baths. The area is called Hamamni, which means simply 'the place of the baths' from the Arabic hammam
This was the first public bath-house in Zanzibar, commissioned by Sultan Barghash and built by an architect called Haji Gulam Hussein. It is one of the most elaborate on Zanzibar, and is constructed in the Persian style. (Such baths are found in many Arab and Islamic countries, and are commonly known by Europeans as 'Turkish baths'.) Today the baths are no longer functioning, but it is still possible to go in and look around. Inside, the bath-house is surprisingly large, with several sections including the steam room, the cool room and the cool water pool.
The caretaker lives opposite: he will unlock the door, make a small entrance charge, give you a guided tour and sell you an informative leaflet about the baths' history and function.