Visit Castle of Good Hope, a 17th century bastion fort and the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa and enjoy a guided tour to learn about the country’s fascinating but difficult military history

Built between 1666 and 1679, the Castle of Good Hope was originally used by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as a maritime replenishment station. Now it’s the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa. Since 1679, Castle of Good Hope has been the centre of civilian, political and military life at the Cape and the historic fort is a symbol of South Africa – its building material even came from two of the most significant landmarks in the country; Table Mountain and Robben Island. Visitors can learn about the history of the country on a guided tour of the fascinating museum and can explore the other exhibits and collections open to the public.

Guided Tours depart 11.00, 12.00 & 14.00 every day. Key Ceremony Monday to Friday 09.00 & 14.00.

Highlights:

  • Guided tour of the historic fort
  • Dutch East India Company architecture
  • Military Museum
  • William Fehr Collection
  • African Pottery Collection

Did you know:

  • There are six historical flags that have flown in the castle over the Cape: the Prince's Flag, the flag of Great Britain, the Batavian flag, the flag of the United Kingdom, the old South African flag, and the current South African flag
  • The building used to be on the coastline of Table Bay before the land was reclaimed and it moved inland
  • Before 2003, the shape of the pentagonal fort was used as the symbol on South African Defence Force flags and South African Airforce aircraft
  • The slate used as paving came from quarries on Robben Island
  • Previously, the Imperial Government offered the Castle for sale for a mere £83.34
  • Thanks to the castle’s defensive system it has never been attacked
  • You can tell during whose era the walls were constructed, British or Dutch, by their height: the British made walls that were higher and the Dutch preferred flat rooves

The Experience:

Guided Tour & Military Museum

Castle of Good Hope is one of the country’s most symbolic historic landmarks, standing as a bastion of South Africa’s colonial past. Now, it welcomes visitors from around the world, including locals and South Africans, who want to learn more about the country’s history and heritage.

Not only is the castle the best surviving example of a Dutch East India Company fort, but it continues to be used as the military headquarters. The Museum teaches of the castles past, from its tensions, and wars, bringing to life the difficult relationships and rulers that part shaped the country into what it is today. The other rooms and exhibits will tell tales of their inhabitants from prisoners to burghers of the Cape.

Events

Don’t miss the traditional Key Ceremony, the unlocking of the van der Stel entrance by the ceremonial guards, or the Firing of the Signal Canon which is performed by the South African National Defence Force and used to be sign of ships sighted at sea.

Any visit to the Castle of Good Hope will prove a stimulating experience and will offer a new insight into the country’s turbulent former years, throughout the 17th-19th century.

see the: full list of attractions included »

Monday 09.00 - 16.00
Tuesday 09.00 - 16.00
Wednesday 09.00 - 16.00
Thursday 09.00 - 16.00
Friday 09.00 - 16.00
Saturday 09.00 - 16.00
Sunday 09.00 - 16.00
Guided Tours
Monday 11.00, 12.00, 14.00
Tuesday 11.00, 12.00, 14.00
Wednesday 11.00, 12.00, 14.00
Thursday 11.00, 12.00, 14.00
Friday 11.00, 12.00, 14.00
Saturday 11.00, 12.00, 14.00
Sunday 11.00, 12.00, 14.00
Key Ceremony
Monday 09.00 & 14.00
Tuesday 09.00 & 14.00
Wednesday 09.00 & 14.00
Thursday 09.00 & 14.00
Friday 09.00 & 14.00
Saturday
Sunday

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Address:

Darling St & Buitenkant St, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa

Telephone:

+27 21 787 1260

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