The palace was built in late 19th century to serve as a residence for the Sultan’s family. After the Zanzibar Revolution, in 1964 it was formally renamed to People's Palace. In 1994, it became a museum about the Zanzibari royal family and history. The ground floor displays details of the formative period of the sultanate from 1828 to 1870 during which commercial treaties were signed between Zanzibar, United States of America, Britain and France. Inside the museum is the memorabilia of Princess Salme, best known as Emily Ruete, former Zanzibari princess who fled from the sultanate to relocate in Europe with her husband; the exhibits include some of her writings, clothes and daily life accessories. The exhibits on the 2nd floor focus on the period of affluence from 1870 to 1896 during which modern amenities such as piped water and electricity were introduced to Zanzibar under Sultan Barghash. The third floor consists of the modest living quarters of Sultan Khalifa bin Haroub (1911 to 1960) and his two wives, both of whom clearly had different tastes in furniture. For the first time, visitors can see much of the Sultans’ furniture and other possessions that survived the revolution.