Fort Jesus is a fort located on Mombasa Island. It was designed by Italian, Joao Batista Cairato and built 1593 and 1596 by the Portuguese. Fort Jesus was the only fort maintained by the Portuguese on the Swahili Coast, and is recognised as a testament to the first successful attempt by a Western power to establish influence over the Indian Ocean trade.
According to the United Nations it is one of the most outstanding and well preserved examples of 16th Portuguese military fortification and a landmark in the history of this type of construction. The property covers an area of 2.36 hectares and includes the fort’s moat and immediate surroundings.
Fort Jesus is now a popular destination for foreign and local tourists. As well as a tourist destination, the Fort is important as a host for numerous research programs, a Conservation Lab, an Education Department, and an Old Town Conservation Office.