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Historical Sites in Cape Town, Western Cape

The main Europeans to find Cape Town were the Portuguese, drove by Bartholomeu Dias in 1488, trailed by the Dutch in 1652 when Jan van Riebeeck was sent to build up a midway station for voyaging ships. From that point forward, Cape Town is soaks loaded with history from recorded locales, figures and even well known canines. Here are a couple of our top choices.

# The unbelievable story of Just Nuisance

Just Nuisance left his paw print in history with an unbelievable story that made him Cape Town’s most well known pooch. Conceived on a Thursday on 1 April 1937 in Rondebosch and sold to Benjamin Chaney who moved to Simon’s Town to run the United Service Institute (USI). As quick as he developed in size, the Great Dane rapidly got to be distinctly famous with everybody who worked at the foundation who might sustain him a wide range of snacks and take him for strolls. He soon started to tail them toward the South African Navy Base and would sun himself on top of the pack board. At just about 2 meters (6.6 ft) tall when remaining on his rear legs, he turned out to be a significant obstruction for those attempting to board and he warmly got to be distinctly known as Nuisance. Just Nuisance started to take after the mariners onto the trains and take outings of up to 22 miles (35 km), the disappointed prepare authorities would put him off the trains however this would not discourage him as he would essentially board the following train or stroll to another station. Despite the fact that besotted explorers would offer to pay his admission, the South African Railways organization in the long run debilitated a final proposal that he would be put down in the event that he kept on boarding the trains. The South African Navy reacted to this risk by enrolling him as an official Navy officer (the primary puppy ever to be enrolled), which implied he was authoritatively qualified with the expectation of complimentary rail travel. For the following couple of years he presented with respect as a loyal travel buddy to the mariners and a confidence promoter for the troops serving in World War 2. In 1944, at 7 years old, Just Nuisance was included in a genuine fender bender and was euthanised after his condition crumbled definitely. He was covered with full maritime respects on top of the slope at Klawer. Guests to Simon’s Town can visit his grave or respect the statue raised in his respect at Jubilee Square.

# Robben Island

Robben Island is a tiny island in Table Bay, Cape Town located 6.9km west of Bloubergstrand. The name is Dutch for “seal island” but it is famous, not for its seals, but for it’s dark history. At different times in the past, it was a leper colony, defense training base and a mental hospital but it is most famous as a prison where former South African president Nelson Mandela was banished during the Apartheid struggle. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela spent 18 of his 27 year incarceration on the prison island. The prison is also known as the ‘university of the struggle’ as many of the most famous anti-apartheid activists sharpened their political thinking and formed lifelong relationships while they were behind bars. They emerged to lead South Africa into democracy and changed the course of South African history. Robben Island has become a World Heritage Site and visitors can catch a short boat trip to the island and visit the cell in which Nelson Mandela was kept. It will give you a unique glimpse into the great sacrifice the anti-apartheid leaders made in order to make South Africa a better place for all.

# The Castle of Good Hope

The oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa is the Castle of Good Hope and was built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company. It was not only built as a replenishment station for their ships journeying from Europe to the East but as tensions rose between Britain and Netherlands amid rumours of war, Zacharias Wagenaer was instructed to build a pentagonal fortress out of stone. The fortress housed a bakery, church, living quarters, various workshops, shops and during the Second Boer War part of the castle was also used as a prison. In 1936, the Castle of Good Hope was declared a national monument, the first building in South Africa, and extensive restorations took place to preserve the building. Guided tours of the Castle are conducted daily and you can visit the workshops, the living quarters, the cellars and dungeons. Key ceremonies are performed, replicating the ceremonial unlocking of the Castle and is followed by the firing of the signal cannon.

# Bo-Kaap

Bo-Kaap is a photographers dream with all its colourful houses and cobble stoned streets. Situated above the city centre, it offers a unique trip into the Malay history of the early Muslim settlers as it is the historical centre of the Cape Malay culture. The Bo-Kaap museum is the oldest house in the area that is still in its original form and dates back to the 1660s. A visit to the museum will highlight the cultural contribution made by early Muslim settlers in South Africa and the little village on the slopes of Signal Hill offers a unique cultural experience with its many restaurants serving traditional Cape Malay cuisine and unique shops. You will also be able to hear the Noon Day Gun which is Cape Town’s oldest lasting tradition going back to 1806. The cannon has historically been fired every day at noon since.

# West Coast Fossil Park

A short drive from Cape Town will transport you back in time to the West Coast Fossil Park which has a rich fossil deposit dating back over 5 million years to the Milocene / early Pilocene era. Located near Langebaan, the fossil sites have exceptionally well-preserved fossil fauna and includes many extinct animals that lived in the riverine forest and wooded savanna when the sea levels were much higher. You can see the fossils of bears, sabre-tooth cats, short-necked giraffes, three-toed horses and many other exotic animals which inhabited the west coast area at the time. Activities at the park includes fun, educational activities as well as coffee shops, picnic sites and mountain bike trails.