The history of Lamu in one house; Rupi Mangat; The East African

Kenya – Lamu Old Town


  • Subira House is listed as a Grade 1 by Unesco because of the careful restoration of its original Swahili architecture, which has been a labour of love for Christina and Paul Aarts.

Lamu, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is famous for its historical limestone Swahili houses built close together, leaving only narrow lanes between them.

The distinct Swahili architecture featuring carved wooden doors has many stories behind it.

Hopping off the boat at the pier after the short ride from the mainland, I took the short walk to the 18th century Subira House — behind the Lamu Fort — that once belonged to the Liwali or governor of Lamu. The doors were open and we walked into the courtyard.

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