Gold of Africa Museum

Gold of Africa Museum. Photo courtesy kudumomo

The address 96 Strand Street, Cape Town, is better known as the Gold of Africa Museum, which is dedicated to preserving the ancient art of African goldsmithing while simultaneously inspiring contemporary design. Temporary exhibitions from India, Brazil, Mali and Egypt and other places around the world examine the common design elements of this art form, which transcends geographical borders and cultural divides.

The museum is located in Martin Melck House, which was constructed in 1783 as the parsonage for the adjacent Evangelical Lutheran Church and named after wealthy businessman and church benefactor Martin Melck of Elsenburg. The building was restored in 2000 and is now admired by many as one of the finest remaining examples of old Cape Town domestic architecture. Its beginnings coincided with the rise of the Akan kingdoms, from which many of the artefacts now housed in the museum originated.

The Gold of Africa Museum showcases the ancient relationship that exists between gold and the African continent in the form of 350 West African gold artefacts and objects from ancient gold-based civilisations.

The museum is open from 09h30 to 17h00 daily except Sundays, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday. Entrance costs R40 for adults, R25 for children (under 16) and R30 for pensioners and students. Private tours can be arranged and, on request, may include interactive goldsmith demonstrations, wine tasting and snacks.

The Museum is the symbolic host of Xamka Restaurant, located in the leafy courtyard.  Xamka, meaning lions, is a word from one of the most ancient human tongues, the language of the Khoisan people who have lived in Southern Africa for 60 000 years. Xamka’s  menu consists of many local South African dishes along with traditional delicacies from the African continent.  Various seating arrangements and themed dinners are available upon request.  Please contact Xamka Restaurant on 021 419 5968 for any enquiries.

The Martin Melck of Elsenburg house in Strand Street houses the Gold of Africa Musuem. Photo courtesy of pandrcutts

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