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"Castle of Good Hope - Part IV" Castle of Good Hope Tip by mke1963

Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town: 26 reviews and 55 photos


This new entrance was constructed in 1682 to replace the original front entrance facing the beach, and is the most harmonious example of Dutch architecture on the Cape, with a beautiful arrangement on the pediment. This shows the coat-of-arms of the Netherlands. Immediately below are the coats-of-arms of the six biggest Dutch cities. As a quirk of history, it is worth noting that only Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Delft remain big cities now; Enjkuizen, Middelburg and Van Hoorn have all subsided in importance now.
Inside the huge castle wall, the castle is softer and less forbidding, as the pentagon shape is lined with buildings, with a long facade of buildings - the Kat - crossing over the centre of the fort, so dividing it into two sections. The courtyard is grassed over, which it was not originally, but it certainly keeps the heat down now!

The oldest part of the castle is the long line of wall and building to the right of the courtyard, with the Captain?s Tower above: it was where a lookout watch was kept over both Table Bay and the settlement of Cape Town. It is possible to climb up the staircase in the corner to reach the Leerdam bastion - and it is also possible, from there, to walk along the circumference of the outer wall. On the Leerdam is a row of six flagpoles carrying the six flags to have flown over the castle down the centuries. It is one of the very few places in South Africa that you will see the old South African flag these days.
Underneath B block, in the corner, the old kitchen can be seen, although it has now been excavated to show the original water supply arrangements for the castle. The basement areas had a habit of flooding, and repeated efforts were needed (not totally successful) to prevent water seeping in.

Address: Strand
Phone: +27 21 787 1249

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 10, 2006
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