Moroni is the capital of the semi-autonomous island Grande Comore, the largest of the three main islands of the republic. The city's estimated population in 2003 was 41,557 residents. Moroni, which lies along the Route Nationale 1, has a port and several mosques such as the Badjanani Mosque.
The historic town centre, the Medina, contains a maze of narrow alleys and ancient buildings of Swahili period but is poorly maintained. The old city centre is based on Zanzibar's Stone Town, but is smaller. There are many mosques, notably the Badjanani Mosque pr Ancienne Mosquée de Vendredi (old Friday mosque), which is the oldest mosque in the Medina.
It was originally built in 1427, and a minaret was added in 1921. The 300-seat theatre of the Alliance Franco-Comorienne serves as a venue for national and international performances, ceremonies, conferences, film screenings, and seminars. Other venues include the 700-seat Al-Kamar, the 500-seat Palais du Peuple, and the 300-seat Foyer des Jeunes de Foumbouni.
Moroni has many shopping centres, a few hotels and also a nightclub. The nearby Karthala volcano is also an attraction for hiking when the volcano is dormant. In the port area apart from the mosque, the other attraction is the Historical and Literary Museum. In the outskirts of the city there is a fishing village which is well known for the Coelacanth fish species.