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Castle of Good Hope

Listed under Coastlines in Cape Town, South Africa.

  • Photo of Castle of Good Hope
  • Photo of Castle of Good Hope
Photo of Castle of Good Hope
Photo by flickr user davidbravr
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This is one of the oldest surviving buildings in South Africa. Built between 1666 and 1679, it replaced a much smaller wood and clay fort originally constructed by Commander Jan van Riebeeck who established a maritime refreshment station at the Cape of Good Hope on behalf of the Dutch East India Company. Today the Castle stands away from the sea, but when it was originally built, it was on the beach. Strand Street, which passes the structure, translates as "Beach Street".

The five bastions at the Castle were named after the main titles of Willem, the Prince of Orange in respect for the Dutch East India Company's heritage (Leerdam, Buuren, Catzenellenbogen, Nassau, and Oranje). In 1936 the Castle was declared a National Monument. Today, it houses the regional headquarters of the South African Army in the Western Cape, the famous William Fehr Collection of historic artworks which provides a glimpse of life at the Cape during the 17th and 18th centuries, the Castle Military Museum and ceremonial facilities for traditional Cape Regiments. It is well worth a visit for its longstanding architecture and the Military Museum which contains many items of interest from battles fought in South Africa.

Written by  Simone Truter.

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