Toolkit » History & Heritage
History & Heritage
Over the past 300 years Cape Town has become a cultural melting pot, but only by experiencing the wealth of heritage sites the city offers can one truly begin to get under the skin of this fascinating city.
The arrival of the Dutch began South Africa’s colonial history and Cape Town’s voyage to becoming a cultural melting pot that included Dutch, Portuguese, French and British settlers, as well as Indian and Malay slaves, and the country’s indigenous inhabitants.
Cape Town is a city of contrasts. It tells a tale of two cities; one that boasts a thriving creative economy, premier tourist destination status and incredible natural beauty, juxtaposed by a city tarnished with social problems and poverty directly related to its troubled history. But when walking the streets of Cape Town and meeting its people, you will fall in love with a city of hope, inspiration and incredible spirit.
From nature and adventure, to history and culture, there is something for everyone to enjoy and explore in Cape Town. As a city of great natural beauty, creative freedom of expression and a melting pot of cultures, Cape Town reflects its heritage and modern history in its characters, architecture and stories.
The year 2014 represents a significant milestone for South Africa as it celebrates 20 years since the country’s first free and democratic elections. As World Design Capital (WDC) 2014, it is the perfect time for all South Africans to reflect on the challenges and gains of our transformation, celebrate the achievements of the past two decades and find solutions to the issues that haunt us.