The Heritage Museum in Simon’s Town pays tribute to the region’s rich Cape Malay history and cultural influence, tracing it from 1743, when Simon’s Town became an anchorage for the Dutch East India Company and there was a steady influx of people of Dutch Batavian descent into the area, well into the last century and apartheid-era rule.
The museum was originally the home of the Amlay family, who were forcibly removed in 1975 after the town was declared a whites-only area under apartheid law. At the time, more than 7 000 people from the region were pushed from their homes following the Group Areas Act, which dictated that people of different races might not live together. The Amlay family were the first to return to Simon’s Town after the advent of democracy, and family member Zainab “Patty” Davidson established the museum and curates its exhibitions today.
Visitors can expect to learn more about the early residents of Simon’s Town and the intricacies of Muslim culture and Cape Malay heritage. The displays include photographs, traditional attire and ceremonial artefacts. There are also a number of walking tours from the museum on offer.
Contact Zainab Davidson on +27 (0)21 786 2302 for more information. The Heritage Museum is open from Tuesdays on Fridays from 11h00 to 16h00, on Saturdays between 11h00 and 13h00, and on Sundays by appointment.
- Phone: 021 786 2302
- Website: http://www.simonstown.com/museum/sthm.htm
- Physical Address: Amlay House, King George's Way
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