The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa, built between 1666 and 1679, primarily by soldiers and slaves. Located on what was then the beach overlooking the harbour (the land since having been reclaimed for building) it was designed specifically to withstand cannon fire from enemy ships. The castle has a unique pentagonal shape with five bastions, named Leerdam, followed in clockwise order by Buuren, Catzenellenbogen, Nassauand Oranje. In 1936 the Castle was declared a National Monument.
Today the castle is the seat of the military in the Cape and houses the Castle Military museum and Iziko Museum of Cape Town. The Castle also houses the famous William Fehr Collection of historic artworks, the Castle Military Museum, the Krotoa Memorial, the permanent ceramic exhibition ‘FIRED’, and ceremonial facilities for traditional Cape Regiments. In December 2016, statues of King Cetshwayo, Langalibalele, Sekhukhune and 17th century freedom fighter, Nommoä were unveiled in the castle grounds. The grounds are also home to an in-house deli and a gift shop.
The Castle offers guided tours, regular ceremonies including the Key ceremony and the firing of the cannon, horse and carriage rides, and hosts music and arts events year round. Certain parts of the Castle may also be used for private functions.
Venue: Castle of Good Hope, Cnr Buitenkant & Darling St, Cape Town
Times: Daily 9am – 5pm (closed on Christmas and New Year)
Cost: R25 – R50