Het Posthuys and Rhodes Cottage Museum – Muizenberg
The “historical mile”, set along Muizenberg’s Main Road, includes the Het Posthuys Museum and Rhodes Cottage.
Het Posthuys (+27 (0)21 788 7972) means “the post house” in Dutch. Built in the 1670s, Het Posthuys is the oldest standing building on the False Bay coastline. It is situated on Main Road, Muizenberg, and is well worth a visit for those interested in South Africa’s early colonial history.
The building was erected by the Dutch not long after the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in the Cape in 1652. It served as a lookout post to spot enemy ships entering False Bay, and as an indicator of the Dutch presence in the region. Later uses included a watch post to prevent illicit trading, a naval storage facility, an ale and eating house, and a private residence.
The Anglo-American Corporation restored the building in the early 1980s and it was reopened as a museum. One of the original floor stones still has a series of boat-shaped grooves caused by an ochre-grinding stone, probably used by the San or Khoi inhabitants of the area.
Het Posthuys is run by the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society, and is open to the public on request. Donations are welcomed.
Another historical nugget and tribute to British empire-builder Cecil John Rhodes is located near Het Posthuys. Rhodes Cottage Museum (+27 (0)21 788 1816, 27 (0)21 788 2181 or +27 (0)73 441 1087) is a wonderful piece of Cape Town and African history. This little cottage museum was once the private retreat of Rhodes, a prominent figure in the early development of Southern Africa.
The museum commemorates his life, ideals, achievements and death, and it is here that Rhodes spent his final days. The museum overlooks False Bay and has a glorious garden reflective of the man’s ties – English country and Cape fynbos.
If the history of the Cape interests you, this is not to be missed. The museum is run by dedicated volunteers who have amassed a wealth of information. It also provides a welcome cup of tea. Entry is by donation. The museum is open daily from 10h00 to 16h00.
- Phone: +27 (0)21 788 7972
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