Each historical site in Africa carries a story that is worth sharing and so is this fascinating site. Like many others, this historical site is ideally a few landmarks that you shouldn’t miss to visit in Cape Town and most importantly, it is a leading example of a star fort. The Castle of Good Hope was constructed between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company making it the most ancient colonial structure which still exists within South Africa. Its position marks the original shoreline prior years of land reclamation changed the Table Bay coastline. This historical monument had its first stone laid on second January 1666 and accomplished by April 1679. It was constructed using local and included rock cut from the granite outcrop on Signal Hill and blue slate shells and the materials were got from Robben Island.
It was constructed by soldiers, slaves, volunteers and the Khoi who were subjected into severe punishment. It accommodated a lot of things including bakery, church and living quarters as well as shops, prison cells, workshops and many more. This area wasn’t attacked and the battles against the British were fought at Muizenberg in 1795 and Blaauwberg in 1806.Around 1936 this building was became a national monument. This building features 4 pointed clay and timber fort was the first building to be constructed and idea was brought to replace it by a more permanent building which could withstand the elements and the likely attacks. The available stone-star fort was constructed 4 years after Jan Van Riebeeck left Cape Town. It was noted to be the stone kraal also called Kui Keip by the Khoi and at times citadel by Dutch settlers. The yellow paint was originally selected for the walls because it reduced the impacts of the hot sunshine in Africa. While on your exploration in this Castle, you will need R28 for entry and this applies for adults and R12 for children below 16years.
This significant historical site comprises of 5 bastions of the castle that include Buuren, Nassau, Oranje, Leerdam, Katzenellenbogen which all derived name from main titles of Philip William-the Dutch Prince of Orange. Each of them had its own magazine, store rooms, garrison as well as specialized production sites such as bakeries and smithies.
The star fort and the adjoining moat were built along the Table Bay shoreline to prevent attack by sea and wereaccomplished around 1679. Currently, this castle straddles further inland as a result of land reclamation between 1930s and 1940s. It mainly served as a seat of government till 1795 when the colony was overtaken by the British and also an official residential place of the governor of the Cape for nearly the first half of the 19th century. At a time the governors changed the place, this area still served as the political center up to the Union of South Africa around 1910. It was then handed over to South African National Defence Force in 1917 and in 1936, it became a national monument. The castle military museum on other hand features the most fascinating military artifacts and displays that date the 17thto 19th centuries. The other important attractions to spot around this area include bakery, officer’s living quarters, donker gat, dolphin pool a mention but a few.