The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa. It was built between 1666 and 1679, with stone and clay, 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. Having once acted as the centre of military, civilian and administrative affairs at the Cape, it is now 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 and ceremonial facilities for traditional Cape Regiments.
The Castle of Good Hope has a unique pentagonal shape with five bastions, named after the main titles of Willem, the Prince of Orange. The Western bastion was named Leerdam, followed in clockwise order by Buuren, Catzenellenbogen, Nassauand Oranje. In 1936 the Castle was declared a National Monument.
The five flags of South Africa’s historical journey are chronologically flown on site with the New South African flag flying proud as the sixth and final addition on the country’s first architectural construction.
Inside the yellow painted Castle walls are a church, a bakery, living quarters, offices, cells and numerous other facilities. The Castle offers guided tours and is the base for horse and carriage rides. Regular ceremonies include the Key ceremony and the firing of the cannon. Certain parts of the Castle may also be used for private functions.
Venue: Castle of Good Hope, Cnr Buitenkant & Darling St, Cape Town
Times: Mon – Sat 9am – 4pm
Cost: R15 – R30
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