The Castle of Good Hope

The Castle of Good Hope is South Africa's oldest building. Photo courtesy Konrad Glogowski

over 300 years standing

The Castle of Good Hope – the oldest building in South Africa – was once a fort, but today functions as a showcase of the Cape’s early days.

Built by Jan van Riebeeck and the Dutch East India Company, the building, which is an example of a “star fort”, was completed in 1679. The building’s 18th-century décor has been restored and it now functions as a popular museum.

a beach one day, a main road the next

Its position, although unremarkable today, indicates the original position of the shoreline, which, thanks to land reclamation, has been extensively changed. It’s strange to think that the original entrance to the fort had to be moved due to the waves that sometimes pounded against its doors!

The William Fehr Collection, comprising paintings and decorative arts, is housed partly in the Castle of Good Hope museum, and partly in Rust en Vreugd – an historical house and museum in the city centre, +27 (0)21 481 3903.

The pieces of this collection, including furniture, oil paintings and antique china, were collected by businessman William Fehr, then sold or donated to the South African government during the first half of the 20th Century. This collection is considered to be one of the best showcases of the lifestyle and tastes of early settlers in the Cape colony.

how to find it

The castle is conveniently located in the city centre, close to bus and rail stations. Entrance is free, but donations are welcome. Open Monday to Friday from 10h00 to 17h00. Closed Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas Day and Worker’s Day.

fun facts

Five things you didn't know about the Castle of Good Hope.

St George’s Cathedral and Groote Kerk

More fondly known as “the people’s cathedral”, St George’s Cathedral in Wale Street represents the Anglican diocese mother church in Cape Town.

Montebello Craft and Design Centre

The Montebello Design Centre is one of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets. The centre features more than 20 arts and craft studios and workshops, an historic greenhouse and nursery, a forge, stunning restaurant and organic deli farm shop. It’s a non-profit development project aimed at promoting good local craft and design, and generating job creation.

The Castle of Good Hope

The Castle of Good Hope – the oldest building in South Africa – was once a fort, but today functions as a showcase of the Cape’s early days.

Reviews

ntombomsa

43211

wow!thats all can say nw bt all the news and seeing the building 4rm the outsyd it says a lot abt how amazing it actually is insyd.

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