• Iziko Slave Lodge

    The Slave Lodge is one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town. The many names of the building over three centuries – Slave Lodge, Government Offices Building, Old Supreme Court, and SA Cultural History Museum – reflect the long and rich history of the building. In 1998 this museum was renamed the Slave Lodge. Under the umbrella theme, ‘From human wrongs to human rights’, exhibitions on the lower level of this museum explore the long history of slavery in South Africa. Permanent Exhibitions: Remembering Slavery Slave Origins – Cultural Echoes From African Earth: Celebrating our African Vessel Heritage Unshackled History: The Wreck of the Slave Ship, São José, 1794 An audio-guided tour can be rented at a nominal fee. This guide takes you on a historical journey through the Slave Lodge and gives you insight into the dismal living conditions. Corner Adderley and Wale Streets, Cape Town 8000 Open Mon to Sat 09h00 to 17h00 Closed Sun, Workers’ Day and Christmas Day Tel: +27 (0)21 467 7229  

  • Cape Town City Hall & Grand Parade

    It was on the balcony of this landmark building where the late President Nelson Mandela made his famous speech when he was released from prison in 1990. It was built in 1905 amazingly out of limestone imported from England! It was also here where Queen Elizabeth II had her 21st birthday party when she was visiting Cape Town back in 1947! The City Hall, home amongst other things of the Cape Town Philharmonic orchestra, looks out over the Grand Parade which on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, is abuzz with women dressmakers buying bolts of cloth, zips, buttons and accessories of all kinds from the market stalls. Also a great place to buy bargain clothes, second-hand or locally made. The historic Grand Parade is bordered by the Castle of Good Hope, the Cape Town Public Library and Cape Town Station.  This is also a useful starting point to visit the Old Granary and the District Six Museum, in Buitekant Street. Just up the road, off Adderley Street, find one of Cape Town’s most colourful locations, the flower market in Trafalgar Place next to the old Standard Bank. Here locals and lovers are able to brighten up their day or someone else’s Read more [...]

  • Church Square and Slave Monument

    Church Square is one of the three early areas of land around which the early town developed and its boundaries probably began to be defined in 1679 when the first public building, a slave lodge was built. In 1701 the Dutch Reformed Church, known as the Groote Kerk, was erected on its southern side The slave monument is a memorial site on cobbled Church Square in Cape Town. The memorial laid out on the Church Square, itself a slave site of great significance helps us to rethink the past. The memorial comprises eleven granite blocks, two are placed on a raised plinth on the South West corner of Church Square close to the Iziko Slave Lodge. A further nine are grouped in a tight grid close to the slave tree plaque. Their common “footprint” represents our common humanity, their different heights represent growth and importance we attach to the youth of South Africa.

  • Arch for the Arch

    The City of Cape Town has honoured Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu for his role in attaining freedom for South Africa. The city unveiled an arch to mark his contribution to freedom and justice and to celebrate his birthday. Framed by Cape Town’s historic Goverment Avenue, near St George’s Cathedral and Parliament, the arch is also symbolic of his dedication to humanity, as it would be shared by many over the next decades. “The Arch for the Arch, representing the 14 chapters of the constitution, should be a reminder to all about the path to attaining freedom and to uphold the values contained therein”, said Exec Mayor Patricia de Lille at the unveiling ceremony. The Arch is strategically placed at the entrance to the Company Gardens and between the Houses of Parliament and St Georges Cathedral, highlighting the significant role the Arch played in both political and spiritual arenas.

  • St George’s Cathedral

    Known as the “People’s Cathedral” for its role in the resistance against apartheid, St. George’s Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in Southern Africa and the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Cape Town. The steps of St Georges Cathedral were often the site of protests during the Apartheid era. A plaque commemorates the peaceful protest march, in contrast to the confrontation that is commemorated at the next stop – The Purple Shall Govern. On 13 September 1989 a march, led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, then Mayor Gordon Oliver and leaders from all sectors, began from this Cathedral, which united more than 30 000 citizens of Cape Town in a demonstration of their commitment to peace and justice for all. They walked to the City Hall in a common spirit of hope and determination for the future. Unveiled by the Mayor of Cape Town, Alderman Dan Plato 13 September 2009

  • The Purple Shall Govern

    The Public Art Piece – The People Shall Govern, by Conrad Botes, on the corner of Burg and Church pays tribute to the many men and women that risked so much in the fight against apartheid on this important day in history. The Purple March was an anti-apartheid protest held in Cape Town on 2 September 1989, four days before South Africa’s racially segregated parliament held its elections. A police water cannon with purple dye was turned on thousands of Mass Democratic Movement supporters who poured into the city in an attempt to march on South Africa’s Parliament. White office blocks adjacent to Greenmarket Square were sprayed purple four stories high as a protester leapt onto the roof of the water cannon vehicle, seized the nozzle and attempted to turn the jet away from the crowds. One of the dyed buildings was the Cape Headquarters of the National Party. The historic Town House, a national monument (now known as a provincial heritage site), was sprayed purple and the force of the jet smashed windows in the Central Methodist Church.

  • Old Town House & Greenmarket Square

    Greenmarket Square is a historical square in the centre of old Cape Town. The square was built in 1696. In the 18th century the first Burgher Watch House was built on the site in about 1716. Initially it was a plain residential structure, but in 1755 the foundation stone for a new and more ornate building was laid. This was completed in 1761. The building was restored under the guidance of architect JM Solomon, and on 8 May 1917 it became the home of the Michaelis Art Collection. Donated by Sir Max Michaelis in 1914, the Michaelis collection consists of a world-renowned selection of Netherlandish art from the seventeenth-century Golden Age. There are works by Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Jacob van Ruisdael, Anthony van Dyck and numerous others. THE OLD TOWNHOUSE IS CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR MAINTENANCE Over the years, the square has served as a slave market, a vegetable market, a parking lot and more recently, a flea market trading mainly African souvenirs, crafts and curios. Near the centre of the square is a hand operated pump used to bring clean water to the surface from an underground river that runs through the city. During the apartheid era, Greenmarket Square Read more [...]

  • South African Slave Church Museum

    The South African Slave Church Museum (also known as the South African Sendinggestig Museum) was established in 1977. The theme of the museum is Christian missionaries and the impact the missionaries had on slaves and the indigenous people of South Africa. Exhibitions at the museum also carry themes about the history of the South African Gestig Congregation, the history of the museum building and Christian mission work and mission stations. The Museum is housed in the oldest indigenous mission church in the country built by local Christians. The museum building is architecturally unique as it was South Africa’s first building in the form of a basilica with an Apsis. All its windows are small scale replicas of this floor plan. It has the only surviving example of a steeply pitched lime-concrete roof – a form of construction developed at the Cape specifically for flat roofs. Its façade features Corinthian pilasters carrying a moulded Cornice and a Gable with a circular ventilator and four Urns.  

  • Prestwitch Memorial

    Prestwich Place has long been a subject of class and racial conflict in the Western Cape. During the early colonial period the area was used as a burial ground that included Dutch Reformed Church burials and a large number of unmarked graves of the free slaves, blacks, washer women etc. Construction in 2003 along nearby Prestwich St unearthed many skeletons – the unmarked graves of slaves and others executed by the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries on what was then known as Gallows Hill. The bones were exhumed and this memorial building, with an attractive facade of Robben Island slate, was created. It includes an ossuary and excellent interpretive displays, including a replica of the remarkable 360-degree panorama of Table Bay painted by Robert Gordon in 1778). According to the brochure at the Prestwich Memorial, the centre is designed as a multi-purpose public facility that should become part of the lives of the local community. This place is envisaged to encourage individuals to interpret and express the voices of past communities to present and future communities. Visitors may enter the ossuary to pay their respects to the human remains that are still packed in boxes, similar to the Read more [...]