CEO’s 2021 Easter Message

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Good Day Castle Friends

I bring you this update with a healthy mixture of emotions:  On the one hand, there is optimism that the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccines will steer us towards some form of normality, especially in our tourism and hospitality sector, which is showing moderate signs of recovery.  On the other hand, the structural, political, and other weaknesses in the global vaccination roll-out regimes coupled with talks of a third wave are dampening our spirits.  But let us never despair: humanity faced and overcame even the worst trials and tribulations.


President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Minister of Defence
& Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula's,
visit to the Castle of Good Hope on 21 February 2021.

Human Rights Month 2021

As we approach Human Rights Day in South Africa (21 March), we are reminded of the sacrifices of millions of women, men, and children to improve others' rights.  Our Constitution has a special section, the Bill of Rights, focusing on our inalienable rights like freedom of expression, movement, religion, association and many others. But we need to be brutally frank with ourselves: how much did we (you and I) do to ensure that these rights are equitably and fairly applied to all 58 million inhabitants of our beautiful land?

Here at South Africa's Castle of Good Hope, I must remind you of the human rights atrocities committed in the name of past oppressive systems like colonialism, slavery, and apartheid; the legacies still clearly visible in towns and townships surrounding us.

Easter Season 2021: Stay Safe. Stay Healthy. Stay alive.

The Easter holiday season, traditionally a family affair was severely disrupted by the pandemic last year.  It is up to every responsible citizen to avoid the calamity this year.  Third-wave or not, let us practice the health and safety protocols as a matter of principle and save lives.  We owe it to humanity in this month of human rights.

When you visit the Castle, the permanent and temporary exhibitions and collections that carry the coming season's messages are at your disposal.  The William Fehr, Secunde House, Military Museum, Cape Muslim Heritage Art, Ceramic, Posterity, and Rhino poaching exhibitions echo the greed, selfishness, and general disrespect for the other.  But these exhibitions also carry stories of resilience, heroism, and hope – vital ingredients required during today's trying times.  Please engage with the collections and feedback your invaluable comments. They mean a lot to us.

Opening Soon: The Camissa Museum at the Castle

We are currently putting the final touches on arguably one of the most significant permanent exhibitions in decades, the Camissa Museum. The following excerpt from the Camissa Prospectus (2020) sums up the project:

"The Camissa Project's objectives are to inform all South African communities about history and heritage they know little about because unhealthy friction and even violence have come to dominate relations between Camissa Africans and other African communities. In some ways, this is a peace-building project as much as it is about the restoration of memory, leading to restorative justice. Teachers and school pupils, students, and the general public will find the museum exhibition and challenges exposed to be fascinating and enhance inter-community discourse in South Africa. It will also contribute to healing and finding African unity. It will also expose white South Africans to many contradictions within their history of the Cape and South Africa and contribute to understanding and healing. For the tourist community, for the first time, they may better understand the history and peopling of the Cape."

I am indeed looking forward to the opening of this virtual museum in the next month or so. Watch this space.

Stay safe, healthy, and hopeful.

Castle Greetings...

Chief Executive - Castle Control Board

 

South African Museums Association

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

08 July 2020

- Click here to view the document -

A Festive Story Of Good Hope…

13th November 2018.

We can’t believe that the festive season is already upon us. As we all prepare to spend some quality time with our loved ones, may we use this opportunity to wish you a joyous, healthy and happy holiday season. The more we think about it, the more we realize that there are very few architectural and cultural heritage sites around that has the variety of unique cultural experiences the Castle of Good Hope offers.

Many cities like Beijing, Paris, London, Rio, Tokyo, Melbourne, Singapore, Brussels offer what we have but theirs’ are often dispersed or pricey. From the best-preserved 17th century Dutch fort in the world, to larger-than-life statues of indigenous royal warriors to the firing of small but ear-splitting signal cannon to a recreated 17th century military drill; it feels like our Castle is a mall of heritage experiences under one roof!

Highlights

  • A unique torture chamber/interrogation room, recently upgraded to create an even more authentic experience;
  • The statues of the Khoi freedom-fighter Nommoä (Doman) next to those of warrior kings Langalibalele, Cetshwayo and Sekhukhune;
  • A museum collection of 17th century art, craft and furniture (William Fehr);
  • A separate ceramic art museum where the original lions that use to protect the main entrance, are on display;
  • The Lady Anne Ballroom and the Dolphin Pool where she supposedly bathed in the nude!
  • A memorial dedicated to the life of Khoi princess Krotoa (Eva);
  • A restitution garden with indigenous plants (and where I spent some time reading and reflecting); and
  • A third museum, depicting the Military History of South Africa. This is also where the original, sea-ward facing entrance of the Castle used to be.

The People's Castle

So, with your heritage-conservation contribution of R50 (±3 Euros) we definitely make sure that you get lots of bang for your buck (pardon the pun) – something like seven for the price of one! Our advice is not to rush through this oldest colonial building in the country. If you want real value for money, take a couple of hours to soak up over 350 years of colonial history – good, bad and ugly!

We are deeply honoured to share our space with tourists, ad-hoc visitors, school children, researchers, musicians, movie-makers, party-revelers, Khoi-chiefs, traditional leaders, actors and the like. Yes, do not be surprised if you bump into a certain Ms Julia Roberts or Mr Denzel Washington, some of the many Hollywood stars who recently visited our shores.

We have developed a slogan that goes like this “Bringing the People to the Castle and taking the Castle to the People!” What underpins this slogan, is a sincere commitment to change the traditional image of the Castle (colonial oppression, pain, exclusion) into one that is inclusive, embracing, healing, educational and leading to nation-building and reconciliation. This is an on-going project that needs all of your support and commitment.

Castle Of Events

It amazes us how the Castle has become a sought-after venue for life-style events. In the coming weeks, tourists and event goers will be treated with a host of exciting events. These include local youth music icon Nasty C, a Gaming Expo (Playtopia), the annual Cape Cultural Picnic and the Sizzled Summer Experience – to mention but a few. Our Castle is now really cooking up a storm!

You will notice from our gardening activities (or rather lack of it) that the Cape is still in the midst of a drought. Though the drought has been down-scaled to level 5, we are still not allowed to water our lawns, trees and other plants. As ardent gardeners, it pains us to see what is usually lush-green lawn is now appearing as a yellow-brown carpet. And the absence of summer flowers at the feet of this majestic, colonial building, is another pity. We kindly appeal to you to be understanding and supportive of our endeavours to preserve and protect this precious, life-giving resource – water.

Welcome to the Castle of Good Hope and enjoy your time with us…

 

 

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

 

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

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An infographic with tips and emergency contact numbers.

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Contact Number:
021 487 6552

Four steps for visitor safety.

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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).

April 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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