Destinations Eastern Africa

5 Famous Historical Buildings in Nairobi Worth Visiting

Nairobi National Museum
Avatar of Abraham Odhiambo
Written by Abraham Odhiambo

To get a proper feel of Kenya, you must forget about the skyscrapers and immerse yourself in its glorious preceding times by visiting the historical buildings in Nairobi. These buildings have stood the test of time to tell people’s history and beliefs and also serve as a remembrance of their great architectural and aesthetic importance.

For anyone visiting Nairobi, it is a good idea to pay homage to the heritage of that place. From the Kenya National Archives to the Nairobi National Museum and the McMillan Memorial Library, get ready to experience the most historical buildings in Nairobi worth visiting.

1. Nairobi Gallery

Nairobi Gallery

The Nairobi Galley. Photo/ Go Places Digital.

Nairobi Gallery is one of the famous historical buildings in Kenya’s capital. It was built in 1913 as the Old PC’s office fondly referred to as ‘Hatches, Matches and Dispatches’ because of the births, marriages and deaths that were recorded there.

The building, which is now a National Monument, is divided into six main rooms, each containing a different collection. One of the rooms you should start by exploring is the Joseph and Sheila Murumbi Room, which is full of items collected by the Murumbis. Joseph and his wife collected many African artefacts and the work of African artists then sold the collection to Kenya’s government in 1976.

2. Kenya National Archives 

The National Archives is one of the places you can’t fail to mention when talking about historical buildings in Nairobi or Kenya at large. This historic building was built in 1965 and established as an Act of Parliament in Kenya that same year.

Inside Kenya National Archives lies a treasure trove of approximately 40,000 public historical records and archives that go back to the pre-colonial era. The ground floor of the building houses the Murumbi Gallery, which contains African artifacts that were collected in the 19th century.

Kenya National Archives

Kenya National Archives. Photo/ Like a Local.

3. All Saints Cathedral

All Saints Cathedral is considered one of Nairobi’s oldest and largest churches. This Anglican Church was constructed in 1917 in Kenyan stone and fashioned in the British Gothic style, which resulted in a perfect mixing of the two cultures. The church’s principal building is dominated by two massive stone towers that reflect medieval England.

Initially, only whites were allowed to enter the venue of worship. However, this changed in 1963 after Kenya gained independence. Bishop Festo Habakkuk Olang’ became Kenya’s first African Archbishop of the Anglican Church in 1970.

4. Nairobi National Museum 

The Nairobi National Museum, which was built in 1929, is the flagship museum for the National Museum of Kenya. It houses celebrated collections of Kenya’s history, culture, nature and contemporary art present for leisure and educational purposes.

What makes the building even more impressive is the early man section, where actual fossils discovered in the country are displayed. The Nairobi National Museum is where to go if interested in diving into the Kenyan heritage.

Nairobi National Museum

The Nairobi National Museum. Photo/

5. McMillan Memorial Library 

The McMillan Memorial Library is a rich store of information containing over 400,000 books and periodicals dating back to 1901. During the colonial period, it was a European-only library. But today, it is open to anybody who loves to read or explore.

Built by the McMillan family, the McMillan Library is one of the conspicuous historical buildings in Nairobi. Colonial Governor, Sir Joseph A. Bryne, officially opened the library on 5 June 1931 and it was named in honour of successful businessman, wanderer and pioneer Sir William Northrup McMillan.

What Is The Name of One Historic Building in Kenya?

The historic Kipande House built in 1913 is located at the corner of Kenyatta Avenue and Loita Street in Nairobi’s Central Business District. ‘Kipande’ is a Swahili word which translates to ‘identification card’. Kipande House currently hosts Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) after the lender acquired it in 1976.

What Is The Oldest Building in Kenya?

Karen Blixen. Sitting at the foot of the famous Ngong Hills, Karen Blixen is a national museum with history that spans for more than 100 years. The building is located about 15 kilometres from the Nairobi Central Business District in the Karen region.

What Is The Historic Building in Nairobi County?

The Nairobi Gallery is a museum and national momentum in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi. The gallery is a historic building featuring contemporary art from Kenya and Africa at large and is set in a historic building constructed in 1913.

SAT advert

[convertful id="221063"]

About the author

Avatar of Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo is a writer with interests in nature, travel, African safari and sports. I'm pursuing a bachelor's degree in Media and Communication at Egerton University.

Leave a Comment