Swahili architecture is a style of building along the eastern and southeastern coasts of Africa. They are thought to be essentially of Arabic or Persian style and origin. Architectural elements included arches, courtyards, isolated women's quarters, the mihrab, towers, and decorative elements on the buildings themselves. The ruins at Great Zimbabwe show some similarities to this coastal style, and also to ancient Madagascan elements such as the 'phallic' tower and the perimeter wall. Many ruins may also still be observed near the southern Kenyan port of Malindi in the ruins of Gedi (the lost city of Gede/Gedi).
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