6 April 2020
Union-Castle Shipping line: how it all began

There are many people in Cape Town who have fond memories of the Union-Castle shipping line, either because they were lucky enough to travel on one of their ships, or because they brought their mail, comics and magazines from England. It certainly has an interesting history. In 1853 the Union Line was established (then called […]

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3 April 2020
The Opening of the Mount Nelson Hotel March 1, 1899

The grounds of the Mount Nelson Hotel have an interesting history, but today I will be looking at the opening day, March 1, 1899. Sir Donald Currie (knighted in 1881), founder of African Lands and Hotels Limited, (and owner of the Castle shipping line), purchased the grounds for 20,000 pounds and the title deeds were […]

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2 April 2020
Castle of Good Hope: The Beginning

One of my most common questions/comments is why our Castle of Good Hope does not look like a castle, but a fort? The very first castle was a square, and when Jan van Riebeeck left Cape Town (after ten years of service as the Governor), in 1662 for Batavia, he left behind an inadequate defense […]

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31 March 2020
Mandela statue: City Hall

Unveiled on July 24, 2018, this bronze statue of Nelson Mandela, installed in exactly the same spot where he made his speech to the gathering crowds on the Grand Parade (February 11, 1990) The tender for the statue was awarded to Koketso Growth (headed up by Dali Thambo), who in turn commissioned the two artists, […]

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30 March 2020
East Indiaman

This model of the Dutch East Indiaman Africa is located inside the museum at the Castle of Good Hope. She was built in Rotterdam in 1673 and on her fourth voyage she arrived at the Cape in July 1683, but sank April 1684 in a storm north of Mauritius on the return voyage. The East […]

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29 March 2020
Historical Cape Town

As Cape Town (and the rest of the world) experience lockdown I am spending the next 21 days writing short posts on some of the historical aspects of our city centre. This is something I have been meaning to do for ages, but while tour guiding the days run away. Now is the perfect opportunity […]

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28 February 2020
The Grand Parade

The Grand Parade has hardly changed in the last 350 years as old photos reveal it as a place for markets and gatherings The best place to view the Grand Parade is by entering the Castle and climbing up the steps on to the perimeter

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27 February 2020
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27 February 2020
Castle of Good Hope

The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest building in Cape Town and offers some of the best views from the perimeter of Cape Town. The Castle was built right at the edge of the ocean

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17 April 2019
Parliament with Culture Connect

Thanks to Kate Crane-Briggs Culture Connect for organising another great outing to Parliament with speakers Lila Komnick and Peter Soal. It was hard to imagine that we were standing in front of Parliament in what used to public space until the public works department, purchased the land, closed it off and made it part of […]

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