June 06, 2013
Top places to be in Rondebosch
Rondebosch is a charming little area in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. It is believed that in 1656, the first experimental crops were grown by settlers along the banks of the Liesbeek River in Rondebosch. One year later, the first batch of Dutch East India Company employees got "free burgher" status and were granted land in the area.
Today, Rondebosch is a student and family-friendly suburb of Cape Town, only 5km from the city centre.
Rondebosch Main Road
Rondebosch Main Road is the historic centre of the suburb. The old Victorian fountain, situated at the Belmont/Main roads traffic intersection, once operated as a watering trough for horses, while the lamp above it is said to have been the first electric street light in Cape Town.
Today, Main Road is home to schools, shopping centres, coffee shops and restaurants. The Baxter Theatre Centre at the University of Cape Town, which opened in 1977 and which is also found on Rondebosch Main Road, is Cape Town's second-largest theatre complex. Look for the landmark giant gum trees on the grounds.
University of Cape Town
Above the Baxter Theatre, on the slopes of Devil's Peak above Rondebosch Main Road, is the main campus of the University of Cape Town (UCT). UCT is a respected hotbed of innovation and new ideas, with a cross-section of students from across the globe.
Rhodes Memorial is a monument dedicated to politician and pioneer Cecil John Rhodes. It is situated on the mountainside above UCT. The memorial structure houses a bust sculpture of Rhodes, a bronze statue of a horseman and eight bronze lions that kids favour as jungle gyms. Its views of Cape Town, the picnic areas, the tea room restaurant and its access to mountain walks make it a popular attraction for visitors and residents.
Rondebosch Common was once a military campground. Over time, with creeping urbanisation, the common has become increasingly smaller. It is now an important pocket of conservation for Cape Flats sand fynbos, as well as a much-loved recreational area for locals and their dogs.