* 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.


Castle To Become A Beacon Of Inclusivity

9th December 2018.

 

 

Cape Town – With talk of decolonisation echoing through the halls of universities, talk of land reform resounding around the country and nationalisation and redistribution of wealth on the lips of almost every South African, what better place to start than the land’s oldest colonial building?

This weekend, the Castle of Good Hope turns 350, and it is fast-tracking its reimagining by unveiling four statues of men who, up until now, have been little more than footnotes in the country’s history books.

They include king of the amaHlubi, Langalibalele, whom the suburb of Langa is named after and who opposed colonial rule, and Zulu king Cetshwayo, who famously led the resounding defeat of the British army at the Battle of Isandlwana.

Another is Bapedi king Sekhukhune, who through force and political manoeuvring built his kingdom Sekhukhuneland and violently opposed British rule, handing the Boers a number of crushing defeats.

Khoikhoi interpreter Doman, who led the first resistance against the Dutch by setting up monopolies of trade, so as to grow his own people’s wealth at the expense of Jan van Riebeeck and his party.

Walking between the hallowed, majestic bastions of the castle, Leerdam, Oranje, Nassau, Katzenellenbogen and Buuren, through the govenor’s chambers, the castle barracks, old munitions storage facility and the gloomy torture chamber, on guided tours, one is reminded of the cruelty of the past.

The systems of oppression and slavery, the torturous punishment of those who tried to escape slavery, or had the temerity to worship their own gods, refusing to submit to the missionaries, who forced Christianity on the indigenous enslaved tribes.

The Castle of Good Hope, far from shying away from its dreadful past, seeks to remind us, lest we forget.

However, the castle is changing. From its original purpose as the main port of defence, to the housing of the governors of the Cape, to a tourist attraction, the castle has also become a vibrant events venue, recently hosting the inaugural Cape Town Flower Show.

Daily, there are visitors from the US, the UK, Australia, Russia, Belgium and elsewhere around the world, who come to marvel at a structure that ties together iconic parts of Cape Town – timber from the vast forests of Hout Bay in the 1660s, stone from Table Mountain, held together by powerful limestone cement made on Robben Island.

Cape Argus

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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