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.
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