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