The Parliament Buildings
South Africa has a fascinating political history that has captured the world’s attention for generations. Not only in recent times, but historically too, this much-prized piece of the “Dark Continent” has been a place of great political significance. Home to South African Politics is just adjacent to the Company Gardens at the top of Adderly Street, in the Parliament Buildings.
President for a day
Exquisitely manicured gardens and wonderfully maintained buildings so rich in history can be visited by taking a formal tour of the facility. The tours, which are free, include a video presentation and a guided walk exploring the history, the functions and workings of Parliament. One is also able to attend a public hearing or committee meeting should they be in session and observe debates in the National Assembly.
The tours are on offer from Monday to Friday between 9h00 and 12h00, excluding public holidays and last about an hour. Tours should be reserved a week in advance, but if you are on a tight time schedule there is no harm in trying your luck for a short-notice slot. Once your reservation is secured, be sure to arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled start to sort out all the formalities and don’t forget to bring your passport along as identification. The tours begin from 100 Plein Street and you are advised to leave all bulky bags at your hotel.
Art lovers dream
One of the many treats of a visit to Parliament is the opportunity that one is presented with to view an oft-refreshed array of wonderful South African art, all drawn from a national art archive and displayed on the walls in an expertly curated fashion. The collection is a spectacular one, and adds wonderfully to the delightfully colonial aesthetic of the building’s interior.
In the mix
Other attractions in the area worth visiting include the Iziko South African Museum, the South African National Gallery, the Company Gardens, the Slave Lodge Museum and St Georges Cathedral.
Tel: +27(0)21 403 2911
Address: 100 Plein Street, Cape Town
- Phone: +27 (21)403 2911
- Website: http://www.parliament.gov.za
- Physical Address: Plein Street, Cape Town
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.
PRINS & PRINS DIAMONDS MUSEUM OF GEMS AND JEWELLERY
This unique museum project takes visitors on a journey from when diamonds first began to form three billion years ago and their 150 km journey to the surface, following the unique path of South African diamonds from their origin in extinct volcanoes to the deposits along our coastline. Learn about unique and rare gemstones, and see how jewellery has changed through thousands of years. The story about South Africa’s mineral wealth is told, not only for diamonds, but also for our Platinum and Gold deposits.
This cultural village aims to remind us of our origin and serves as the reservoir for African knowledge pertaining to nature and traditions, giving us an opportunity to celebrate who we are through music (wonderful sounds from live bands) or from its’ distinct fineness of cuisine, topped up with African (local) arts and crafts.
Hot summer sun, extra long days and warm nights, sun-kissed skin and time to spend with loved ones; summer in Cape Town is the ideal time to get outdoors and enjoy getting closer to the spectacular nature that is within minutes from the bustling city.
Diamonds were formed three billion years ago by molecular-changing heat of around 1 300 °C, deep within the Earth’s crust. If you didn’t know that, then you have not been to the Cape Town Diamond Museum.
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