This historic monument and landmark dates back to the early 18th century when the first Dutch Colonials set up a fortification in Cape Town.

The original fortification was built, not for colonisation purposes but for nursing sailors back to health, stocking up with supplies, and readying themselves for further journeys East – when trade was booming. Linked to the Castle of Good Hope, it was used until 1860 when it was ripped apart and buried to build the Alfred Basin. There it lay, buried under rubble, for 140 years until it was unearthed from below the sea and the original shoreline was also uncovered.


  • Battery Museum
  • Archaeological ruins
  • Served as a prison and quarantine
  • Linked to Castle of Good Hope
  • Hidden shoreline
  • History of Dutch East India Company

The Experience:

Those interested in history will be fascinated to discover the Archaeology ruins of the Chavonnes Battery, a VOC Fort that was ripped apart and buried for over a century. Named after the governor of the Cape Colony, Maurits Pasques de Chavonnes, it was built in 1714-1725 and its role was not to protect the Cape Hamlet from the indigenous clans, but to protect against any aggressors and pirates linked with the trade industry in which the settlers and soldiers were operating. Did you know that during its first 143 years the Cape outpost was not once attacked by anyone? Sadly, from 1860 was demolished and it lay beneath the sea until it was excavated in the 1990s to build the Clock Tower Precinct at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.

Chavonnes has been rebuilt from maps and pictures, and the ramparts stand on the original rocky shoreline. Visitors can see three great canons which stand in reconstructed garrison carriages, as well as casemates and underground rooms which can be explored. Chavonnes was a testament to attacking battleships with a stable firing platform which could mount much heavier guns compared to the ships, not to mention the thick stone-faced walls which were the very best armour there was.

Enjoy a free visit to Chavonnes, walk through the ramparts, rooms, and ruins of this fascinating museum and bring the old military fort back to life.

see the: full list of attractions included »

Monday 09.00 - 19.00
Tuesday 09.00 - 16.00
Wednesday 09.00 - 16.00
Thursday 09.00 - 16.00
Friday 09.00 - 19.00
Saturday 09.00 - 19.00
Sunday 09.00 - 19.00

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Clock Tower Precinct, V & A Waterfront, Cape town


+27 21 416 6230

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