The Malindi Museum Society (MMS) was registered as a Society in 1993 with over 120 founding members to support National Museums of Kenya (NMK) policy to eventually acquire the Malindi District Officers building for the Malindi Museum - one of the oldest buildings in Malindi.
It was gazetted as a National Monument in 1991 in the hope that it would be vacated by the District Officer and renovated as the permanent home of the Malindi Museum.
The government recently built new offices for the D.O. and his staff where they have now relocated.
Meanwhile the museum has been housed in another historical but smaller building - The House of Columns.
The old D.O.’s office and it's grounds are in the process of renovation. Some of the exhibits have been relocated, but the museum has not yet officially been opened pending further funding.
The earliest reliable reference to Malindi known to date was written sometime in the early 1300’s by Abu-al-Fida, an Arab. Subsequent visits by Chinese, and then mainly Portuguese explorers and merchants helped to establish a thriving community in Malindi. As work began in 1593 on Fort Jesus in Mombasa, the town began to decline. By 1846 it was completely overgrown with vegetation. Re-founded in 1861 by the Sultan of Zanzibar, Malindi continued on to become the town of today. A detailed timeline and other historical facts can be found in the MMS booklet for sale at the House of Columns or MMS office
This monument was built in 1960 to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the death of Prince Henry (1394 – 1460) son of King Joao and Queen Phillipa of Portugal. He founded a school of oceanic navigation and ship-building techniques in Portugal in 1419. Read more here..