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September 19, 2011

Top Five Cultural and Heritage Spots in Cape Town

Blog Featured Image

Rhodes Memorial. Photo courtesy Danie van der Merwe

Our wonderful country celebrates National Heritage Day on September 24 and, in the Mother City, we are certainly blessed with numerous spots steeped in cultural significance.

From St George’s Cathedral in the City Centre to Cape Point Lighthouse and Rhodes Memorial, we have well-preserved historical buildings and spaces to boast of.

With major events such as the Cape Town Festival, Iziko Museums’ Heritage Week, the Cape Minstrels Carnival hosted each year, we celebrate the cultural melting pot of Cape Town in true festive style.

Be sure to visit these cultural and heritage spots in the Mother City:

For history buffs with an appetite:

The Roundhouse

One of the most beautiful and oldest buildings in our hometown, The Roundhouse has grown from a small round guardhouse built in 1786 to the gourmet establishment it is today.

A national monument and a favoured building of Lord Charles Somerset, Governor of the Cape from 1814 to 1826, The Roundhouse boasts exquisite views of the deep blue, and has three luxury dining rooms and a refurbished terrace ideal for late summer night socialising.

Location: The Roundhouse Restaurant, Camps Bay
Contact:  +27 (0)21 438 4347
Website:  www.theroundhouserestaurant.com

Rhodes Memorial Restaurant and Tea Garden

Savour the vibrant history, unbelievable views and mouth-watering goodies at the Rhodes Memorial Restaurant and Tea Garden.

Adjacent to the magnificent Cecil John Rhodes Memorial, built in 1912 to commemorate the former prime minister of the Cape Colony, this mountainside eatery is a fulfilling cultural experience.

Location:  Rhodes Memorial, Cape Town
Contact:  +27 (0)21 687 0000
Website:  www.rhodesmemorial.co.za

For the politically minded:

Houses of Parliament

Instead of hurrying past the Houses of Parliament while on a stroll through the Company’s Garden, take a guided tour of these important buildings that were completed in 1885, and see where our laws are made. From January to June you can also sit in on parliamentary sessions.

Location:  Plein Street, Cape Town
Contact:  +27 (0)21 403 2911
Website:  www.parliament.gov.za

For the curious walker:

Liesbeek River

Running alongside the main road through Rondebosch and Newlands, this river has the prestigious honour of being one of the first named by Jan Van Riebeeck in (back then it was called the Amstel or Versse Rivier).

Though canalised at some points, the river is still worth the walk. If you feel peckish you can stop for a picnic at the Two Rivers Urban Park at the riverside.

For the seaside explorer:

Blouberg

More than just a hot spot for catching big waves and that much desired suntan, Blouberg was once the scene of the Battle of Blaauwberg (also known as the Battle of Cape Town) in 1806.

Take a drive out to the sandy shores of this impressive beach and imagine what transpired there more than a century ago when the British defeated the Dutch and won leadership of South Africa for a second time.

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