National Museums of Kenya

Built in 1929, the Nairobi National Museum is the National Museums of Kenya’s flagship museum.Tuesday, 25 June 2019

By National Museums of Kenya
The National Museums Of Kenya
The National Museums Of Kenya
photo by The National Museums Of Kenya

Built in 1929, the Nairobi National Museum is the National Museums of Kenya’s flagship museum, housing celebrated collections of Kenya’s history, nature, culture and contemporary art.

The museum was founded in 1910 by a group of enthusiastic naturalists — the East Africa Natural History Society — who needed a place to preserve their collections. After using a number of locations, construction of the current museum began in 1929 and it was officially opened on 22 September 1930.

On 15 October 2005, the museum closed its doors to the public for an extensive modernisation and expansion project. Finally, in June 2008, the museum reopened — a striking piece of architecture putting the venue in competition with other world-class museums. In addition to offering visitors an insight into Kenya’s rich heritage, the museum is also well known as an events venue.

Another site operated by the National Museums of Kenya is Gedi Ruins, the remnants of a Swahili town on the east coast of the country in Kilifi County. Gedi traces its origins to the 12th century, but was rebuilt with new town walls in the 15th and 16th centuries. This rebuilding is connected with the emigration of many citizens of Kilwa to Mombasa, Malindi and other towns on the coast.

Gedi became wealthy, reaching its peak in the 15th century, as evidenced by the presence of numerous ruins, comprising of a conglomeration of mosques, a magnificent palace and many houses, all nestled in 45 acres of primeval forest. In the first half of the 17th century, the last families are thought to have left the town.

Gedi’s eventual abandonment is attributed to a great number of factors, such as the Wazimba raid along the East African coast in 1589, the removal of the Sheikh of Malindi and the Portuguese to Mombasa in 1593, the falling water table (as shown by the deepening of the well outside the Great Mosque), and the overhanging menace of the Galla, a hostile nomadic ethnic group from Somalia. 

 

DON'T MISS

The chance to visit the world-acclaimed collections at Gedi, far away from the bustle of the city

NEED TO KNOW

KEY FACILITIES
• Shops
• Restaurant

KEY ACTIVITIES
• The Snake Park
• Botanical Gardens
• Medicinal Plants exhibition
• Dining and shopping experience

GET IN TOUCH

museums.or.ke
T: +254 20 81 641 34/35/36
E: publicrelations@museums.or.ke

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