An outstanding historical landmark situated in Cape Town’s s vibrant Mother City, The Castle of Good Hope is a popular tourist attraction that transports visitors back to the 17th century, through insightful and in-depth guided tours. The Castle of Good Hope is an exceptional pentagonal fortress (or star fort) that was built by the Dutch East India Company between 1666 and 1679, after which it was considered the centre of civilisation, as well as the central coming together of military and political formalities.
As South Africa’s oldest existing colonial building, the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town has been declared a provincial heritage site and represents Cape Dutch, French and English building styles. The building materials used in the construction of this exceptional castle were locally sourced, and even included rock that was cut out from the granite outcrop on Signal Hill, as well as blue slate and shells that were brought in from Robben Island. During its time, this incredible fortress was home to a church, bakery, multiple workshops, prison cells, offices and living quarters. Interestingly, the castle was never attacked, even though it was built as part of the Cape’s formidable defence system against potential enemy attacks.
The Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town is beautifully preserved and also houses 3 Cape Town museums, The Military Museum, the William Fehr Collection (showcasing unique early Cape decorative artworks and paintings) and the castle’s permanent ceramic exhibition FIRED, located within the Castle’s old granary. There is also a lovely restaurant to be enjoyed within the Castle of Good Hope expansive grounds, serving up delicious Cape cuisine as visitors reflect on the tour and take in the historically significant surroundings.
One of the highlights of the Castle of Good Hope tour is the traditional Cannon Firing, which once served as an indicator that a ship has been sighted at sea – this cannon gets fired daily by the Cannon Association of South Africa and can be heard from various areas in the city. Another past practice that continues to live on as tradition at the Castle of Good Hope is the Key Ceremony, where the Castle’s ceremonial guards unlock the Van Der Stal entrance.
Local and international visitors have the opportunity to experience The Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town when booking a half day city tour with Mesmin Poba Touring. These exciting City Tours can be booked for the morning or the afternoon with the option available for a Private French Guide.