Massawa Island Architecture
Massawa is made up of 2 islands Massawa and Taulud, plus the mainland which is mostly residential. Massawa Island is the best place to walk around and see interesting and charming architecture.
In the side streets opposite the harbour you will find a 17th century coral block house. Coral was once the traditional building material for Massawa houses. There are also Ottoman style houses as well as several old covered markets.
- Historical Travel
Exploring the old town
Once you leave the main waterfront and the main street, you will find lots of sadly dilapidated buildings that would deserve to be rescued. Still, it is fascinating to do some exploring, and you come across unexpected gems like these traditional wooden balconies every now and then.
The old port on Massawa Island is still busy with cargo traffic. It is also lined with old houses that have been restored to a decent condition. This is likely to be the first thing you see as you approach Massawa Island.
Talaud Island has little of interest apart from its hotels, but you will have to pass through it anyway. This war monument welcoming you as you cross the causeway from the mainland is about the most interesting thing I saw on Talaud.
The main street in the old town
This is the main throughfare on Massawa Island. It is quite lively with lots of stores and bars/restaurants, and the old buildings here are in better condition than in much of the old town.