The Chavonnes Battery, located in the Clock Tower Precinct of the V&A Waterfront, offers a fascinating perspective on the early history of Cape Town.
Located below sea-level, it is the only place where you can see the sand of the original Cape Town shoreline that was home to the nomadic Khoisan people for thousands of years before fleets of the Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, Swedes and Danes passed through, and the arrival of the United East India Company (VOC).
Named after the Governor at the time, the Chavonnes Battery was built in 1726 to deter sea-borne aggressors with its 16 large cannons.
The Chavonnes Battery was partially demolished in 1860 and its stone reused for the creation of the Alfred Basin and the Clock Tower. In 1999, the Battery was rediscovered, excavated and conserved to create a spacious archaeological site, museum, and exhibition space, staffed by knowledgeable and engaging staff and tour guides from local communities. It is also the home of one of the largest selection of muzzle-loaded cannon in South Africa, and one of the few sites where they are fired. See reviews here.
Venue: Chavonnes Battery, Clock Tower Precinct, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Opening times: 10am to 5pm
Cost: R100 | U16 free with every paying adult | Exhibitions charged individually | Enquire about the student and pensioner discount.