HERITAGE WEEK 2020 AT THE CASTLE OF GOOD HOPE 

 The 354-year old Castle of Good Hope, after months of forced closure and relative inaction, restarts its return to ‘normality’ with an array of exciting programs and activities.

“September is Heritage and Tourism Month. It thus fits that one of South Africa’s oldest and most imminent heritage-tourism institutions leads the way to mark this important period. Fittingly, the theme for Tourism Month is “Tourism: Building Peace! Fostering Knowledge while the theme for Heritage Month is “Celebrating South Africa’s living human treasures”. We are also very fortunate to use 22 September, World Rhino Day, (which is also the official beginning of Spring in the southern hemisphere), to re-open the Castle with the launch of a harrowing art exhibition coming to the Castle later this year” says Calvyn Gilfellan, CEO of the Castle Control Board.

Herewith some detail of an exciting Heritage Week at the Castle:

22 SEPTEMBER:
WORLD RHINO DAY

This Rhino art exhibition, confirmed to open in the first week of December 2020 officially, tells the story, through art, of an artist’s encounters with rhinos wounded by the greed and cruelty of humans.  Monique van Deventer regularly accompanies her husband, Dr Ryan van Deventer, who is a wildlife veterinarian, on field trips in KZN.  As an artist, Monique was shocked to see the suffering and sometimes death of these animals who are globally being poached to extinction.  Her powerful drawings and ceramic renditions of bones show five specific rhinos who have been affected by this cruelty.  Her sensitive “portraits” bring home the fact that these are sentient beings.

“The exhibition, curated by Carol Brown who is known for her exhibitions and research in art through activism and social concerns, is intended to bring this important issue to the forefront through Monique’s drawings, sculptures and photographs (see attachment). These will be shown in the 354-year-old historic stable in the Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, from mid-December 2020.  This is a joint project with Iziko Museums and the Castle Control Board. The exhibition is intended to be a voice for the ‘voiceless’ and to increase awareness of humanities disregard for and destruction of the planet before it is too late”, says curator Carol Brown.

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23 SEPTEMBER:
SPECIAL PROVINCIAL PRAYER SERVICE FOR THE VICTIMS & SURVIVORS OF COVID-19

Also on Wednesday, is a joint Western Cape Government, City of Cape Town & South African Religious Forum COVID-19 prayer service that will be held in the old Chapel in the Castle.

“COVID-19 came as an unpleasant surprise and shock to all of us.  Many South Africans have lost their lives and livelihoods. This special thanksgiving service is meant to celebrate the lives of those who have succumbed to this deadly virus.  But it is also an opportunity to thank those brave women, men and children who risk their lives in the frontline fighting this scourge. As we move into the phase of re-opening, rebuilding and picking up the pieces, we need to reflect, and thank our Creator for his mercy to those who have made it” says Bishop Templeton, national chairperson of the South African Religious Forum.

The service is scheduled to start at 10h00.

24 SEPTEMBER:
NATIONAL HERITAGE DAY & LAUNCH OF HISTORIC MUSLIM MUSEUM AT THE CASTLE

On Thursday, 24 September, access to the Castle will be FREE OF CHARGE to all South Africans and tourists.

One of the highlights of the day is the launch of a first-ever South African Muslim Heritage Museum (MHMSA).

“Over recent months, members from our community has requested a much-needed Museum for Muslims and their contributions to the South African community at large.  People in Heritage fields had ongoing meetings and eventually registered an NGO and established the MHMSA, Muslim Heritage Museum of South Africa.  It is a first of its nature in South Africa.  Treasure Yourself Magazine came on board as it is often referred to as a ‘moving Museum’ says Fadia Mohammed, spokesperson for this historic initiative.

The Board is inviting all citizens and tourists to join us in our first public event since the March COVID-19 lockdown.  Although it is a fun-day, people must take responsibility for their health and safety by following all the COVID-19 protocols.

 

Media Enquiries: Calvyn Gilfellan, +27 (0)82 3346098 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rhino Exhibition Enquiries: Ms Carol Brown (Curator) on 0837781192.

COVID-19 Prayer Service: Bishop Templeton on 0611782262.

SA Muslim Museum: Ms Fadia Mohammed on 0734781728.

General Enquiries: Mr Sonwabile Maxebengula. +27 (0)73 751 9433 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information on individual events please call: +27 (0)21 787 1260.

South African Museums Association

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

08 July 2020

- Click here to view the document -

Castle Of Good Hope: Turning History Into Our Story

12th April 2018.

 

Constructed in the mid-17th century out of rock hewn from Signal Hill and slate gathered from Robben Island, the Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa and one of the best-preserved examples of Dutch East India architecture. Originally perched on the coastline of Table Bay after land reclamation, the erstwhile fort is now a sprawling landmark on the corner of Darling and Castle Streets on the way to Cape Town’s bustling Foreshore.

 

 

We discovered the Cape Doctor certainly lives up to its name as we cross the moat and enter the Castle’s precincts to meet Doreen Hendricks, the Castle’s powerhouse Tourism & Marketing Manager. The interview becomes a fascinating journey about the possibilities of transformation and how the colonial past can be transformed into a reimagining of our future.

“The Castle was exclusive for many years, whether to a particular racial group or individuals on a particular career path. It was specifically designed and built to keep people out, but as a tourism heritage site we want to invite people in. We can’t change the structure of the building, but we can change the perceptions of people.

“Everything in the Cape started here at the Castle. Our slogan is, ‘The beginning of everything’. We also position ourselves as the centre for shared heritage in South Africa. Here you have the culmination of so many things and so many people. We are all connected in some way, and the Castle played a major role in that.

“We aim to bring people together and not only recognise differences, but also commonalities and move forward from there. That’s what we started doing in 2016 during our 350-year commemoration and what we are continuing to do going forward.

 

 

“How do we do that? A lot of people talk about deconolising history, but in the words of our good friend Professor Denis Goldberg, we do deconolisation of history. We give people a platform to have a voice, to tell their stories and to be recognised. We want them to remember, heal and learn through this process; whether it be via an exhibition, a debate, a community forum or a traditional ceremony.

“The Castle of Good Hope is a self-sufficient public entity. We generate income via our commercial tourism and event activities, which in turn help us fund community heritage initiatives. We rely heavily on partnerships to do development work and appeal to corporate South Africa to support us in order for us to grow our heritage, culture and education department. The fact that our Department of Defence is looking after the maintenance of the Castle, is a huge bonus.

Recently we launch a 350-legacy project, focusing on the passing of the history onto the youth of today. Even though the 350-commemoration was concluded in 2016, the story has actually just begun.We have created a timeline of the inclusive history of the Castle – from when it was first built up until 2016. The timeline, as seen above, includes untold stories of the past as well as the recognition of unsung heroes and warriors. These timelines have been rolled out in 72 schools nationwide with the aim of getting them rolled out into 400 more throughout the country. We want our kids to feel included and become excited about their heritage.

 

 

“We also know that the youth nowadays learn through technology, so we have developed an interactive website, virtual tour and video which would speak to them in a language that they understand. We are in the process of developing an app that they would be able to download onto their phones and tablets, which makes history available to them immediately and in a fun way.

“We are positioning ourselves as an exciting, forward-thinking heritage site. People – whether they are locals or tourists – want an experience. They don’t want to stand at a glass window looking in; they’re looking for interaction – touching, feeling, talking, engaging. We are therefore working hard to ensure our product is interactive.

“Over and above all the exhibitions, we also host a variety of events…. from flower shows to lifestyle markets, from music festivals to conferences and weddings.

“We want to open our doors to not only tourists, but to locals, to Capetonians. People whose lives have links here – and who may not even know it.”

 

 

SA Tourism Services Association
Frequently Asked Questions For Tourists Travelling To SA [PDF 2MB]
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Tourism Industry Standard Protocols
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Updated Lockdown
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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).

October 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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