Fort Sao Sebastiao

Fortaleza de S. Sebastiao

Is situated on the northeastern tip Island and has 780m of perimeter. Was the Vice-King of India, Dom João de Castro, who in 1545, chose the location and gave the order for it to be built, starting to gather the stones.

Foto antiga


Usually it is stated that the stones of the fortress came from Portugal or so of India. But just look closely at the grandiose monument to conclude that the stones, at least the ones that are in plain sight, are equal to those that abound on the island.

Even today the island isn’t flat. By high rocky debris that still exist, as that underpinning the Church health, we know that there were highs that were destroyed to provide stone for constructions, made in the decorres centuries.

To view the imponências of the fortress and don’t have historical data about its construction, the people created the legend that it is not the work of men, but of a ghost named Muanante. This legend spread throughout the province of Nampula.

The reality is that all those rocks were brought to the place where today we see the cost, sweat and blood of slaves. The same applies to all other buildings on the island. In November 6, 1829, in a trade for the Lisbon Government, the Governor-General of Mozambique Island, wrote: ‘ there is no cars, nor plows or other value of plowing, or those who serve to pipe heavy genres: from what all real private buildings that are built, go very slowly and with a lot of expenditure because the stone, lime, sand, etc. .., all led to the slave’s head.»


The works of the present Fortress were not yet completed at the time of the siege of the Dutch in 1607 and 1608. But they were – in shortly after in 1620.

Due to its privileged situation of base of the slave trade, gold and ivory, the island was coveted by the Dutch, Arabs, Turks, French, etc. The Dutch envadiram-on with strength in 1607. The Portuguese with their slaves took refuge in the fortress. Set fire to the House, most of them covered the macute, but heavy rain wiped out their fire. The Dutch stationed in s. Domingos convent and Chapel of St. Gabriel during 2 months bombed heavily the stronghold, field side of St. Gabriel. The Portuguese resisted desperately, and what helped was having achieved that mainland populations were allowed to provide live to the Dutch. Those without live then go to the Comoros Islands decided to refuel, but they cut all the Palm trees that abounded on the island at the time, and set fire to all the houses, churches and convents.

In July 28, 1608, the Dutch came back envadir the island, while the Portuguese if taking refuge in the fortress as the previous year. This time the Portuguese didn’t have time to collect their goods in the fortress. A young Dutch who first siege if the Portuguese surrendered on the second siege left the Fortress and took the Dutch all information pertaining to the situation of the Portuguese.

The Dutch settled in the ruins of the convent of S. Domingos, began bombing.