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*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
Table Mountain, Long Street, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Noon Gun, Heart of Cape Town Museum, Lions Head, Two Oceans Marathon, Koopmans-de Wet House, Chavonnes Battery Museum, Two Oceans Aquarium, District Six Museum, Langa Township, Holocaust Centre, Groot Constantia, Newlands Brewery, Rhodes Memorial, Greenmarket Square, The Company's Garden, South African Museum and Planetarium, Orange Kloof, South African National Gallery , Newlands Stadium, Blue Train, Long Street Baths, Signal Hill, St George's Cathedral, Whisky Live Festival
The oldest military building in South Africa, the Castle of Good Hope was built in 1684. A clay fort was originally constructed upon the 1652 arrival in Cape Town of the Dutch East India Company but the fort soon proved to be inadequate and the building of the Castle began in 1666. A lack of material, labour and funds was the reason for the 18 year delay in completing the structure. Stone was quarried from Robben Island and bricks were shipped in from Holland.
The Castle was built in a pentagonal shape with 5 bastions, each named after the titles of William III, Sovereign Prince of Orange, and the turret bell was created in Holland and installed in 1679. Many years ago, a soldier hung himself using the bell rope and it’s said that his ghost occasionally rings the bell.
The Castle of Good Hope is in remarkable condition and is open to the public throughout the week. Try and schedule a visit during the changing of the guards when the castle entrance is unlocked. This tradition has endured for many years. The firing of a cannon also takes place daily.
The walls can be walked for excellent views of the City Hall and Table Mountain and the most popular areas inside the castle are the old gaol and donker gat (dark hole). The old gaol has some interesting graffiti scrawled on the heavy wooden doors, while the dark hole is a windowless torture chamber. The dark hole faces the sea and at high tide, it would be filled up with seawater, often drowning the occupants.
In the castle basement is an outstanding permanent exhibition of fine artwork, from decorative goods to fine oils and water paintings, all donated by William Fehr, a wealthy businessman. The Castle military museum contains displays of military dress and other memorabilia collected over many wars.
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