The Sieges of Mombasa and Fort Jesus, 1498 to 1963

1498 Saturday, April 7 1498 (eve of Palm Sunday), Vasco Da Gama casts anchor off Mombasa, but does not enter the port.
  Saturday, April 14, 1498 (eve of Easter Sunday), Vasco Da Gama casts anchor off Malindi and searches for a local pilot to guide him to India. The Portuguese enjoy the hospitality of the city for nine days before setting off for India/
1589 Turks build a small fort at Mombasa
1593 Portuguese pull out of Malindi.
Begin construction in Mombasa of Fortaleza de Jesus (1593), Forte de São Joseph, Fortim da Ponta Restinga, Forte do Sorgidouro, Fortes da Macupa.
1631 Sultan of Mombasa stabs Portuguese captain, takes over the Fort
1632 Portuguese attempt unsuccessfully to take over Fort
1632 Sultan’s nerve fails; he quits, Portuguese re-occupy Fort
1661 Sultan of Oman sacks Mombasa, but fears to attack the Fort
1696 Sultan of Oman lays siege to the Fort
1697 Portuguese in the Fort die from starvation and plague
1698 Fort falls to Omani Arabs after 33 months siege
1728 Garrison mutinies against Arabs; Portuguese re-occupy
1729 Omani Arabs retake Fort; Portuguese leave the Fort for good
1741 Omani governor of the Fort, al-Mazrui, declares independence
1746 Al-Mazrui murdered by Omani; his brother kills assassin & becomes governor
1824 Al-Mazrui governor seeks and gets British protection
1826 British protection withdrawn
1828 Sultan of Oman & Zanzibar (Seyyid Said) regains Fort
1833 Al-Mazrui forces in Fort withstand bombardment by Sultan
1837 The last Al-Mazrui governor submits to Sultan
1875 Fort bombarded by British ships to quell mutiny by Al-Akida
1895 Fort used as a government prison up to 1958
1958 Fort gazetted a National Park
1960 The Fort was opened to the public
1970 Fort was gazetted as a National Monument
1993 Fort Jesus, Mombasa celebrated 400 years anniversary


Alvaro Velho and João de Sá. A Journal of the First Voyage of Vasco Da Gama, 1497-1499. Translated by E. G. Ravenstein.

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