Castle of Good HopeEnquire Now
In Cape Town
+27 21 787 1260 www.castleofgoodhope.co.za
The Castle of Good Hope – the oldest building in South Africa - sits in the Cape Town city bowl. It has assumed many roles in the history of the Cape, from fort and jail, to museum.
The castle was built by Jan van Riebeeck and the Dutch East India Company and was completed in 1679. Its location indicates the original position of the shoreline, which has changed due to extensive land reclamation.
The castle’s well-preserved pediment still bears the coat of arms of the United Netherlands and on the architrave below are the arms of Van Hoorn, Delft, Amsterdam, Middelburg, Rotterdam and Enkhuizen - Dutch cities where the United East India Company had chambers. Sections of the moat, which previously formed part of the defence system of the castle, have been rebuilt during restorations.
In addition to structural renovations, the building’s 18th-century décor has been restored and today, as well as being the seat of the military in the Cape, it houses the Castle Military Museum and William Fehr Collection of paintings and decorative arts.
The pieces in this collection, under the curatorship of the Iziko Museums of Cape Town, include furniture, oil paintings and antique china that showcase the lifestyle and tastes of early settlers in the Cape colony.
This unique heritage site is just a 20 minute drive from Cape Town International airport. Guided tours of the castle are conducted from Monday to Saturday and will take you through the dungeons, the dolphin pool and the galleries.
Address: Corner of Darling and Buitenkant Streets, Cape Town, 8001