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Another key feature of most buildings is large verandas protected by carved wooden balustrades.The most well-known feature of Zanzibari houses are the finely decorated wooden doors, with rich carvings and bas-reliefs, sometimes with big brass studs of Indian tradition.Two main types of doors can be distinguished: those of Indian style have rounded tops, while those in the Omani Arab style are rectangular.Carvings are often Islamic in content (for example, many consist of verses of the Qur'an), but other symbolism is occasionally used, e.g., Indian lotus flowers as emblems of prosperity.Stone Town is located on the western coast of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago.Former capital of the Zanzibar Sultanate, and flourishing centre of the spice trade as well as the slave trade in the 19th century, it retained its importance as the main city of Zanzibar during the period of the British protectorate.The heart of Stone Town mostly consists of a maze of narrow alleys lined by houses, shops, bazaars and mosques.Since most streets are too narrow for cars, the town is crowded with bicycles and motorbikes.

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The considerable amount of daub found indicates timber buildings, and shell beads, bead grinders, and iron slag have been found at the site.

There is evidence for limited engagement in long-distance trade: a small amount of imported pottery has been found, less than 1% of total pottery finds, mostly from the Gulf and dated to the 5th to 8th century.

Despite the establishment of a Conservation Authority, As coral stone is very friable, frequent maintenance is needed for most of these buildings.

Some major restoration projects (especially on the seafront) have been done in recent times by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC).

Its architecture, mostly dating back to the 19th century, reflects the diverse influences underlying the Swahili culture, giving a unique mixture of Arab, Persian, Indian and European elements.

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