Vasco da Gama pillar is situated on the seafront road near the jetty in Malindi, Kenya. It is accessed from Scorpio Villas or alternatively from the Silversands area. The pillar is one of the oldest remaining monuments in Africa and was built in 1498 by the great Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama as a sign of appreciation for the welcome he was given by the Sultan of Malindi.
Designed using ancient Portuguese architecture, the Vasco da Gama Pillar in Malindi has stood the test of time and is one of the oldest tributes to history. The cross surmounting the pillar was tested and found to be made of Lisbon limestone, proving that it is indeed the original cross placed at Malindi in 1498.
There are also tombs and a chapel that was built by the Portuguese in Malindi. The pillar tombs are located next to Juma Mosque, between the jetty and the town centre. The tombs are believed to have been built in the 15th century as burial grounds for renowned Portuguese. The pillar has bowls of the late Chinese Ming Dynasty still intact in its upper portion.
The Portuguese Chapel is located along seafront road near the Gossip Hotel and was built in the 16th century to mark the burial ground of two Portuguese sailors. This chapel was the first Christian church in East Africa.
The Vasco da Gama pillar is a relatively simple monument, but it means a lot to the history of Malindi, Kenya history and Africa as a whole and offers a fascinating experience on your travels.