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Historical and Cultural Sites in Cape Town

As a Dreams To Reality volunteer in Cape Town, South Africa, you will have the chance to explore the interesting and diverse historical and cultural sites in Cape Town. While most of your time will be spent volunteering, your down time and weekends are free to spend as you wish. We go over some important histocial and cultural sites that are not to be missed.

South Africa’s oldest building

The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest building in South Africa and was erected between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company. It was designed in the shape of a pentagon and is a fascinating mix of medieval and 17th century architecture. The building used to function as a prison but is now a historical landmark.

Cape Dutch Influence

Buildings all over the Cape Winelands are famous for their Cape Dutch architecture, influenced by the Dutch farmers who first settled in the area during the 1600s and 1700s. With the surrounding vineyards and thatched roofing, these buildings are distinctly South African. Groot Constantia is a good example of Cape Dutch architecture and is located on a working wine farm.

Robben Island

This World Heritage Site where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were held during the South African Apartheid era, is a constant reminder to all South Africans of the price paid for equality.

City Hall

In the heart of the city, lies Cape Town’s City Hall, designed in the Renaissance style with over 39 bells used for festivals and celebrations. Today it is the home of the Cape Town Municipal Library.

Cape Point Lighthouse

It was dubbed the “Cape of Storms” by Portugese explorer Bartholomeu Dias in 1488, and its treacherous seas led to numerous shipwrecks over the years. The historical lighthouse was built in 1874 and is today known as Cape Point, and the area is still known for its perilous passage.

Houses of Parliament

If you feel up to watching a Parliamentary session to see how South Africa’s democracy works in action, you can buy a ticket which entitles you to sit in the public gallery during Parliamentary sessions between January and June. The building also houses the Library of Parliament.

Bo-Kaap Museum
The oldest original homestead in the colourful Bo-Kaap (Cape malay Quarter) today houses the Bo-Kaap Museum.

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