Covid-19:
Looking Back To The Future

Good Day Castle Friends

It was about this time last year when the full might of the most devastating pandemic hit humanity.  The 356-year Castle was not spared and had to respond to the worst human and economic crisis in recent history.

Despite the debilitating operational impacts of the pandemic, the Castle Control Board (CCB) took a conscious decision not to lament but use the full might of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to advance their heritage, tourism, and conservation mandates.  During these extraordinary times, the CCB organised virtual tours, virtual seminars, virtual exhibitions, blended events and even hosted a couple of international film shoots.

The CCB joined forces with artists, performers, community organisations, religious leaders and exhibitors to launch a series of thought-proving exhibitions:

  • "Posterity" with its focus on gender-based and other forms of societal violence and links with our colonial past;
  • "If These Bones Could Talk" about rhino poaching;
  • "Imam Haron" dealing with the life and times of this struggle cleric;
  • "Dulcie September" dealing with this anti-apartheid activist's death by letter-bomb;
  • "Cape Muslim Heritage Art Exhibition",
  • the Cape Minstrel symbolic demonstration to usher hope into the new year;
  • the Camissa Museum heritage initiative - a development with the potential to change the course of history and historiography in our land.

These exhibitions and other innovative events attracted unprecedented media interest, reaching an audience of over half a billion people.

During the current financial year, the CCB will endeavour to significantly beef up its income generation capacity by improving the restaurant, gift shop, and conference offering. We are thus extremely grateful towards all our loyal clients and supporters and in particular the Department of Defence, who threw out a life-line when we faced our darkest of hours.

On-site and perimeter security management remain a key priority. In this regard, the CCB and its on-site SANDF partners, are engaging the City of Cape Town, SAPS and private sector to improve crime prevention at the Castle's Grand Parade entrance.

Depending on the lock-down restrictions, the CCB will undertake a concerted marketing effort to get scholars, students, community members and tourists in their numbers back on site. The Board has again committed itself to clean, effective corporate governance and expects nothing but a clean audit for the year behind them. The latter, plus our global status as a heritage thought-leaders, will build confidence, the bedrock for our journey of recovery…

Yours in heritage for development

Chief Executive - Castle Control Board

 

First ever cyberbullying workshop co-hosted with
Trafalgar High at the Castle of Good Hope
[1 June 2021]

 

Deputy Minister of Defence & Military Veterans
Mr Thabang Makwetla's Visit to the Castle
[3 June 2021]

South African Museums Association

Recommended Norms & Standards
For The Operating of Museums
During COVID-19

08 July 2020

- Click here to view the document -

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Old map of the Cape Colony from the sixteen hundreds

The Castle of Good Hope is known locally as "The Castle". Its Dutch name is "Kasteel de Goede Hoop" and is a bastion fort built in the 17th century in Cape Town, South Africa. The Castle was originally located on the coastline of Table Bay but, following reclamation, the fort is now located a short distance inland within the Central Business District. The Castle was declared a historical monument (now a provincial heritage site) in 1936. Following restoration work in the 1980s, it is considered the best preserved example of a 17th century architectural structure in the entire world.

History

In 1652, the Dutch East India Company (DEIC) settled on the shores of Table Bay to establish a refreshment base for ships en route from Europe to East Asia and to maintain its monopoly over the Spice Trade. Built by the DEIC between 1666 and 1679, the Castle of Good Hope is the oldest existing colonial building in South Africa. It replaced an older fort called the Fort de Goede Hoop which was constructed from clay and timber and built by Jan van Riebeeck, the first Commander of the Cape.

During 1664, tensions between Britain and the Netherlands rose amid rumours of war. That same year, Commander Zacharias Wagenaer, successor to Jan van Riebeeck, was instructed by Commissioner Isbrand Goske to build a pentagonal fortress out of stone. The first stone was laid on 2 January 1666. Work was interrupted frequently because the DEIC was reluctant to spend money on the project.

On 26 April 1679, the five bastions were named after the main titles of William III of Orange-Nassau: Leerdam to the west, with Buuren, Katzenellenbogen, Nassau, and Oranje clockwise from it.

The Castle of Good Hope in 1680

In 1682 the gated entry replaced the old entrance, which had faced the sea. A bell tower, situated over the main entrance, was built in 1684—the original bell, the oldest in South Africa, was cast in Amsterdam in 1697 and weighs just over 300 kilograms (660lb). It was used to announce the time, as well as warning citizens in case of danger, since it could be heard 10 kilometres away. It was also rung to summon residents and soldiers when important announcements needed to be made.

The fortress housed a church, bakery, various workshops, living quarters, shops, and cells, among other facilities. The yellow paint on the walls was originally chosen because it lessened the effect of heat and the sun. A wall, built to protect citizens in case of an attack, divides the inner courtyard, which also houses the De Kat Balcony – now with the “Kings of the Castle” statues in front of it. The original balcony was built in 1695, but rebuilt in its current form between 1786 and 1790. From the balcony, announcements were made to soldiers, slaves and burghers (town inhabitants) of the Cape.

During the Second Boer War (1899–1902), part of the castle was used as a prison, and the former cells remain to this day.

The Castle acted as local headquarters for the South African Army in the Western Cape, and today houses the Castle Military Museum and ceremonial facilities for the traditional Cape Regiments. The Castle is also the home of the Cape Town Highlanders Regiment, a mechanised infantry unit.

SA Tourism Services Association
Frequently Asked Questions For Tourists Travelling To SA [PDF 2MB]
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Tourism Industry Standard Protocols
For COVID-19 Operations

DOWNLOAD the document here.

Updated Lockdown
Level 2 Regulations
25 August 2020

 

ccb SATSA FAQs

Answering your questions on filming procedures during COVID-19 lock down.

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An infographic with tips and emergency contact numbers.

DOWNLOAD the infographic here.

ccb band aid logo24/7 Band-Aid
Contact Number:
021 487 6552

Four steps for visitor safety.

DOWNLOAD the infographic here.

ccb atm logoBe ATM-wise!

DOWNLOAD the infographic here.

 

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Latest Events

To see the latest upcoming events at the Castle of Good Hope, click on a day or the month title to display the event(s).

June 2021
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Key Ceremony

TIMES
10:00|12:00 

This showcases the unlocking of the Van der Stel entrance of the Castle of Good Hope by the ceremonial guards of the castle. It is a past practice that is still practised today.

Canon Firing

TIMES
10:00|11:00|12:00 

The firing of the signal cannon was used to indicate that a ship had been sighted at sea and to relay the message to people inside the fort. You can view the firing of an old cannon, performed by the Cannon Association of South Africa.

Guided Tours

TIMES
11:00|12:00|14:00|15:00|16:00 

Unearth the hidden history of the Castle with a guided tour led by an experienced guide. Tours operate seven days a week.

 

Please note that the Key Ceremony, Cannon Firing & Guided Tour activities have been suspended due to COVID-19 protocols at this time.

 

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