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Koopmans-de Wet House Map

About Koopmans-de Wet House

The only townhouse to have survived the Dutch colonial era is located in a busy street in the centre of Cape Town. The townhouse, called Koopmans-de Wet House, is now a museum and gives visitors an insight into the typical lifestyle of a wealthy city dweller between the 1700s and late 1800s.read more

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More info about Koopmans-de Wet House

The only townhouse to have survived the Dutch colonial era is located in a busy street in the centre of Cape Town. The townhouse, called Koopmans-de Wet House, is now a museum and gives visitors an insight into the typical lifestyle of a wealthy city dweller between the 1700s and late 1800s.

The house dates back to 1701 and while much of it has altered over the years, the entrance steps, built using small yellow bricks imported from the Netherlands and called ijselstene, are from the original build date. The Neoclassical style façade dates to around 1780. The last owner of the house was wealthy socialite Marie Koopmans-de Wet, who had moved into the property after her parents’ death. Her husband was to die a short time later and she wore black to mourn his death for the rest of her life. Marie and her sister hosted parties for the elite and invites to these occasions were highly prized. In her will, she stated that the house be used exclusively as a museum.  

The house contents has changed much since Marie Koopmans-de Wet was alive, however, exceptional period furniture was sourced from all parts of the Cape to recreate the living spaces. Her original collection of ceramics – believed to have contained exquisite Delft and Chinese pieces – was sold off in 1913 but some fine examples are still on display. Take a moment to check out the thick teak wooden ceiling beams and stinkwood bannisters.

An interesting section of the house is the slave quarters located above the coach house. Two toilets were provided for the occupants, probably a luxury for slaves during that period.  

The house is somewhat out of place squashed between two modern buildings but we can be glad that a historic building such as the Koopmans-de Wet House has survived progress.