Its ruins tell of a historical settlement, one of the oldest in the entire coastal area of East Africa of which there is trace. The town, which seems to have accommodated 3000 people, was abandoned at the end of 1500. The causes of abandonment are uncertain, but it is likely that it was an attack by the fearsome Somali tribe of the Gallus, driven out of Malindi, to destroy much of that civilization.
In previous centuries it appeared as a fortified citadel, consisting entirely of rocks and stones, inhabited by the Swahili people of Arab origin. Its inhabitants had trade relations with the Middle East and India and the wealth of its dignitaries was huge.
Now the ruins of Gede (Gedi Ruins) have become a national museum, and what remains of the metropolitan plant is immersed in a forest of beautiful indigenous plants, with many baobabs and tamarindes.
It is worth taking a walk and a visit, more for the contour than for the real historical value of the remains. Between a tomb and a portal, sometimes a monkey can jump out, or in some of the old wells the sound of an owl can resound.
The historic city of Gede occupied a very large area, around 44 hectares of land and had two large walls that enclosed it.
The inner walls were the quarter where the rich lived. The 18-hectare outer wall also included agricultural land and plantations with a number of mud huts and makuti for poor farmers.
Inside the main walls there is a coral tomb with the date engraved in beautiful Arabic calligraphy, 1399. From the dated tomb, you can see the Great Mosque with a spectacular deep well, known as the “Great Mosque Well” which must have been used for ablutions and is still visible. On the other side of the mosque is the tomb of the imams with the large octagonal pillar.
Also in the forest, you can see the 15th century royal palace and the women’s rooms, which had no windows, with other rooms without doors that are believed to have been used by nobles to store gold and jewelry. The only way to enter those rooms was through a secret passage from the roof.
In 1927, the historic city of Gede was declared a historical monument and excavations began and subsequent conservation work was carried out in order to bring to light the areas of historical interest of the settlement.
The ruins of Gede and its national museum are open to the public every day from 7 am to 6 pm.