* IMPORTANT NOTICE *

Opening of Parliament 2020 - Castle Closure

ccb parliamentPlease note that due to the opening of parliament and the resultant road closures,
the Castle will be closed to the general public on Thursday 13 February 2020.


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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By the time you read this message, I hope that students have successfully completed their exams, Mom and Dad finished work and that you all are ready to join your loved ones on a well-deserved year-end break. To you and all our international visitors, welcome and thanks for your ongoing support. We in the tourism industry, is 110% ready to make the long holiday of 2019/20 a festive and ultra-memorable one.

Instead of our usual festive message (wear flat shoes, responsible enjoyment, safety tips, no-drinking and driving, etc.), we would rather share with you the hundreds of interesting things to gaze at, experience and enjoy at South Africa’s oldest operating colonial building – the 353-year-old Castle of Good Hope. 

We strongly recommend that you spend at least half a day to reflect and get a sense of where we come from, where we are and where we are going to in this beautiful land of ours. Here we go:

  1. Check out and feed the millions of Fish in the Moat (water mass around the Castle).
  2. Look and listen to the Indigenous Birds on the Moat.
  3. Swim - yes take a swim (by permission only) in the Moat!
  4. Take a picture at the Canons at the entrance or others scattered all over the Castle grounds.
  5. Take a picture of the two Lions at the Main Entrance.
  6. Then go into the stunning Ceramics Museum and appreciate the original lions.
  7. Take a selfie at the oldest post box (PO Box 1).
  8. Admire our Pyramid (ammunition store) at the main entrance.
  9. Visit the WW1 & WW2 memorials.
  10. Enjoy our excellent guides on one of the Free Site Tours.
  11. Check out and take a picture at the massive Ship’s Anchor left of the main entrance.
  12. Visit the Waterblommetjie Gardens.
  13. If Dutch, check out your Regional Emblem on top of the main gate.
  14. Touch (ouch, the spikes) a real Armoured Door.
  15. Bump into a world-famous Film Star (if filming happens).
  16. If not, visit the film sets.
  17. Chomp on a Castle Burger.
  18. Peek into a 21st Century Conference room in the 353-year Adam Tas Hall.
  19. Take a picture on the only spot where not a single sign of the City is visible.
  20. Hunt your Ghosts.
  21. Get married in a 350-year old chapel.
  22. Participate in a local Khoi ceremony.
  23. Listen to local Ghoema Music.
  24. Take selfies with the Warrior Kings of the Castle.
  25. Embrace the Lady of Good Hope.
  26. Visit the original gravesite of Krotoa (Eva).
  27. Or reflect at Krotoa’s Memorial.
  28. Gaze at the oldest brand (VOC) in the world.
  29. Enter the first, original Parliamentary Chamber in colonial/modern South Africa.
  30. Reflect on life in a Restitution Garden.
  31. Gaze at a deconstructed colonial exhibition.
  32. Have a Picnic on the Lawn (water-restrictions permitting).
  33. Hear a real Canon Firing.
  34. Observe the only Key-Ceremony on the country.
  35. Visit the William Fehr Museum.
  36. Sleepover in a real Jail.
  37. Visit the Military Museum.
  38. Enjoy a bite at the Castle Five-Star (named after the five bastions) Restaurant.
  39. Then visit the Leerdam, Buuren, Katzenellenbogen, Oranje and Nassau Bastions.
  40. Admire the view of Table Mountain like nowhere else.
  41. Be amazed by the original Sea-ward Entrance of the Castle.
  42. Visit the jail of Zulu King Cetswayo.
  43. Imagine seeing Lady Anne Barnard in the Dolphin Pool.
  44. Check out Simon Van der Stel’s Cellar.
  45. Dare to enter the Torture Chamber.
  46. Experience the horrors of real Instruments of Torture.
  47. Locate the real “Dark Hole/Donker Gat.”
  48. Lock yourself up (joke) in an Old Ammunition Room.
  49. Pick up a memento at the Castle Gift Shop.
  50. Enjoy this time-capsule of southern African history and heritage.

I thank you for your continued support and wish you a safe, healthy, happy and blessed holiday season.

Yours in heritage for development

CEO - Castle Control Board

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Festive Season Preparedness Plan 2019/20

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An infographic with tips and emergency contact numbers.

DOWNLOAD the infographic here.

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Contact Number:
021 487 6552

Four steps for visitor safety.

DOWNLOAD the infographic here.

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DOWNLOAD the infographic here.

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The Preparedness Plan is to identify possible public safety and service delivery risks and to mitigate these through appropriate operational and resource planning.

DOWNLOAD the plan 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).

February 2020
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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.

 

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