As the oldest city in South Africa, Cape Town boasts a number of important historical buildings, many of which are still in use today and open to visitors. The city’s architecture is a testament to the many and varied influences on South Africa’s unique history and a dream for any architecture enthusiasts!
Tuynhuys, the Cape Town office of The Presidency, has in various guises been associated with the seat of the highest political authority in the land for almost two and a half centuries. The building seemingly had modest beginnings with the earliest known reference to the site being in 1674 when the Dutch East India Company first built a “garden house” to store the tools for the Company’s large garden first established by Jan van Riebeeck in 1652. In about 1682, the toolshed was converted into a guesthouse to entertain foreign visitors of the Governor Simon van der Stel.
The Castle of Good Hope, erected between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company, is the oldest building in the whole of South Africa.
Fun facts about the Castle of Good Hope:
The castle is a blend of medieval and 17th-century architecture, designed in a pentagon
The building consists of five bastions: Oranje, Nassau, Leerdam, Catzenellenbogen and Buuren – titles of Prince William of Orange
The bastions were used as prisons and storerooms in years gone by
The Castle houses the Western Cape military headquarters and is home to the South African Military Museum
Tours of the Castle are very popular