Architecture and history are a match made in heaven and you’ll get to witness this winning blend during your stay in self-catering accommodation in Cape Town. Read on to find out where to see some of Africa’s best heritage buildings.
- Sites at the V&A Waterfront
While this modern, upmarket venue is not the place you would expect to find heritage buildings, there are in fact several located within the confines of this attraction. The Clock Tower built in 1882, the Time Ball Tower circa 1883, Chavonnes Battery and the gateway to Robben Island all qualify as heritage buildings
- Houses of the Bo-Kaap
Several of the original homes built by the original Cape Malay population still stand today. These colourful houses are all sandwiched together in the Bo-Kaap and are one of the city’s most photographed sights.
- The Castle of Good Hope
As South Africa’s oldest building, the castle of Good Hope was the first construction built by the Dutch traders who set up an outpost on these shores. This fort served as a prison and bastion of civilisation for the early settlers. A tour of The Castle reveals insights into these early days and may even reveal a haunting vision of one of the long –departed prisoners.
- Bertram House on Government Avenue
One of the only remaining examples of English Georgian architecture in the city, this unplastered original dwelling is filled with artefacts from the early days. It was one of the first buildings erected in the Dutch East India Company’s Garden way back in 1839.
- Long Street
Along Long Street a number of historic buildings have survived intact from the 1800s. These are Blue Lodge, the old YWCA, T Gibson Building, and numbers 140, 142, 148, 301 to 305, 78 to 196 and 134 to 136 Long Street.
You need to look carefully to spot these elegant old creations among the bustle and modern buildings of this busy neighbourhood with its restaurants and nightspots.
- Rust en Vreugd, Buitenkant Street
Dating all the way back to 1778, the beautifully restored grand dame holds pride of place in Buitenkant Street, on the outer edge of the city. Period style gardens and a gazebo add to the charm.
- Centre for the Book
Repurposed as a library, this historic Edwardian building is found along Queen Victoria Street and has been there since 1906. This gorgeous old building with its domed roof was the original site of the University of the Cape of Good Hope.
- Leinster Hall
Leinster Hall is found at 7 Weltevreden Street in Gardens and is currently the home of The Stack Bar, Restaurant and Private Club. The house and gardens date back to the 1850s. The Victorian veranda and lush gardens are the most attractive features of this property.
Lap Up the History
You can visit these sites and more on a guided tour of Cape Town’s most historic places. If you love history and architecture, make sure you put this on your to-do list for your stay.
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