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)21 467 7223.

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. It's open seven days a week, except on Christmas Day & New Year's Day. The castle gates open at 9am and close at 4pm, with the last visitors admitted at 3.30pm.

Entry Fee:

  • Adults:  R30
  • Pensioners (SA card holders only): R15
  • Children/Students (5-16yrs):  R15
  • Booked School Groups:  R5

* Prices correct at time of publishing.

things to do

  • Go on a Guided Tour between Monday and Saturday at 11h00, 12h00 and 14h00 (no tours on Sundays).
  • The Key Ceremony is performed Monday to Friday at 10h00 and 12h00, followed by the firing of the Signal Cannon.
  • Book a romantic horse and carriage ride.  Rides take place daily at 10h30, 12h45 and 14h45 and take about an hour.  Sunset rides are also offered. Bookings are essental and can be done via


fun facts

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

for regular updates

Castle of Good Hope website

Sénéchal-Senekal Art Gallery

For the past decade Junaid Sénéchal-Senekal has been exploring the image of South Africa through a series of collections.  A unique approach and distinctive techniques combine with success in the international art scene and he describes it as a ‘remembrance’ of intimate moments, in the context of a uniquely African conversation.

Martin Melck House

Martin Melck House is one of the oldest colonial homes in South Africa named after its first owner. Its history is intimately entwined with that of Cape Town itself.

Robben Island Art Co & Trust - SunStar

As a new day dawns a light shines from the southernmost tip of Africa. As evening sets that light shines even brighter. This is no mere sun. This is a beacon of hope. We are proud to present SunStar. An iconic art installation forged from the repurposed fence that surrounded Robben Island.

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.

City Hall and Grand Parade

Cape Town’s City Hall was built in 1905 in Italian Renaissance style, and is one of the last Victorian-style sandstone structures in the Mother City. Despite showing its age, Cape Town’s iconic City Hall continues to be sought out by urban explorers.


Zoegdie Adams


The correct contact details for the Castle of Good Hope is 021 787 1260

charles uys


Can someone please tell me how to make a school booking for a visit to the Castle. I tried the number 021 4671264 several times but to no avail

Jeanette Bosman


Thank you for the information but you are incorrect in saying it was built by Jan Van Riebeeck! He left the Cape for Batavia in 1662 and the next Commander who was Zachariah Wagenaar actually built the Castle starting in 1666.



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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