The magnificent vistas over Cape Town, coupled with the historical importance and interest of the memorial, make this a fantastic place to spend a few hours.
The memorial, which was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, was built in 1912 to honour former Cape Colony prime minister and mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes. The position chosen was Rhodes’ favourite viewing site.
The memorial was built in recognition of Rhodes’ contribution to Cape Town and the colony. The funders spared no cost in ensuring that it was an appropriate tribute to his contribution to South Africa.
Built from Cape granite quarried on Table Mountain, the memorial consists of 49 steps – one for each year of Rhodes’s life. The Doric columns were inspired by Rhodes’s appreciation of classical architecture, and the eight lions were modelled on those at the base of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, London.
A bronze bust of Rhodes rests on a pedestal featuring a poem written by his close friend, Rudyard Kipling; and the statue of Physical Energy at the base of the steps was commissioned as a tribute to his drive and determination.
The memorial affords visitors views to the north-east of Cape Town. Directly behind the memorial, on an elevated terrace, you will find the Rhodes Memorial Restaurant. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 09h00 to 17h00. It serves al fresco meals daily, ranging from lovely salads to baguettes, platters and fresh fish. It is also renowned for its fresh cakes and desserts, created on the premises. Enjoy splendid views from the sun terrace in summer, and a log fire in winter.
The memorial is open to the public in winter (May to September) from 08h00 to 18h00, and in summer (October to April) from 07h30 to 19h00. Entry is free.
If you are looking for a place where you can taste the Cape’s finest wines, dine in one of two modern restaurants and still have a plethora of things to do, then the Steenberg Vineyards are for you.
Diamonds were formed three billion years ago by molecular-changing heat of around 1 300 °C, deep within the Earth’s crust. If you didn’t know that, then you have not been to the Cape Town Diamond Museum.
Cape Town sport enthusiasts are lucky enough to live in the city that is home to the South African Rugby Museum. Located just a drop kick away from the Newlands Rugby Stadium in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, home of the Stormers, the South African Rugby Museum is a full of tokens, collector’s items, memorabilia and history of one of the country’s most watched sports.
As the oldest city in South Africa, Cape Town boasts a number of historical buildings, many of which are still in use today and open to visitors. The city’s architecture is a testament to the many varying influences in South Africa’s unique history.
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