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*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
SAB World of Beer, Johannesburg Zoo, Satyagraha House, Hillbrow Tower, Bensusan Photographic Museum, Enoch Sontonga Memorial Park, Sandton City, Moyo Restaurants, Nelson Mandela Square, Newtown Cultural Precinct, Johannesburg Art Gallery and Sculpture Park, Brenthurst Gardens, Nelson Mandela Bridge, Apartheid Museum, Rand Easter Show, Radium Beer Hall, ABSA Art Gallery, Oriental Plaza, The Bag Factory, Standard Bank Gallery, MuseuMAfricA
If there is a single place in South Africa that depicts much of the country’s turbulent past and hopeful future, it’s Constitution Hill. Located in Johannesburg city, this national heritage site houses the country’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, guardian of South Africa’s ground breaking constitution and legal protector of freedom and equality. The court building also showcases some of South Africa’s finest artworks.
Constitution Hill consists of a series of buildings and the site that holds the most interest for visitors is Number 4, a prison used during the apartheid era to detain political prisoners. Mahatma Gandhi is its most famous prisoner. Here, opponents of the National Party regime were detained, often illegally, and sometimes tortured.
The 1893-built Old Fort was once a prison exclusively for white males and a military fortress for Boer leaders during the South African War. Nelson Mandela is the only black person to have been imprisoned in the Old Fort.
The beautiful Victorian façade of the Women’s Gaol hides a female prison where many opponents of apartheid were confined and where separate isolation cells, for black and white women, were maintained.
The centre offers interesting guided tours of all buildings. Other tour options include a night tour of the facility and a ‘Walk with Madiba’ tour which covers much of Nelson Mandela’s life and his encounter with Constitution Hill officialdom.
There are a number of permanent exhibitions on display and several rooms and halls can be hired to host a conference. The resource centre stores documentation relating to the apartheid period.
Constitution Hill or Conhill as it’s known by locals, is a place that’s seen the fall of oppression and the rise of freedom, a fascinating place to enjoy a full day understanding the South African spirit.