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Museums & Monuments

Cape Town has a rich and interesting history.

At Peer’s Cave in Fish Hoek the first traces of human life in this region were found. These are between 12 000 and 15 000 years old. Little is known about the history of the first inhabitants of this region, because there is no written record about the area before Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias was mentioned in 1486 for the first time.

The first observation of the Cape of Good Hope was registered by Vasco da Gama in 1497. Years later, in 1836, the abolition of slavery in the Cape Colony accelerated the economic and social transformation of the city. In the absence of restrictions on construction (introduced in 1861), many cheap houses separated by narrow alleys and without any basic amenities were built for former slaves and the poor, particularly in District 6.

In 1948, the victory of the National Party in the South African general elections led to the establishment of Apartheid in South Africa. This was a policy involving institutional and systematic racial segregation. It was only in 1991 that the last pillars of the Apartheid laws were abolished.

Several museums in Cape Town have been established to pay tribute to the anti-Apartheid struggle and its leaders, such as the late Nelson Mandela, who was the country’s first democratically-elected president. Cultural activities in Cape Town include visits to the South African Jewish Museum or the District 6 Museum, which commemorate the struggles of history.

You can give your opinion and note places you have visited during your stay in order to assist other travellers.

Museum Night Come to South Africa

The Thursdays’, initiators of the First Thursdays phenomenon, in collaboration with Iziko Museums, provide the first edition of Museum Night. Thursday, 26 February 2015, 17h00 – 21h00 The last week of February intentions to certainly be a banquet of art and culture in Cape Town. Visitors to the City will likely be spoiled, with events such as the Cape Town Art …

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District 6 Museum

District 6 Museum in Cape Town is situated in the former inner-city residential area District Six. It was created in 1994 as a memorial to the forced removal of 60 000 inhabitants during Apartheid in South Africa in the seventies. In 1867 this area was named the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town. It was inhabited by former slaves, artisans, merchants and other immigrants and a lively …

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South African Jewish Museum

The South African Jewish Museum in Cape Town was officially founded by Nelson Mandela in December 2000. Its location is distinct as it is situated in South Africa’s very first synagogue. This museum was conceived, founded and largely funded by philanthropist Mendel Kaplan. It is very modern and features high-tech exhibits, interactive multi-media installations and historically faithful recreations about the Jewish story. In addition you can learn …

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