Cape Town Sights

Cape Town has grown as a city in a way that few others in the world have. Take a good look at the street names. Strand and Waterkant streets (meaning "beach" and "waterside," respectively) are now far from the sea. However, when they were named, they were right on the beach. An enormous program of dumping rubble into the ocean extended the city by a good few square miles (thanks to the Dutch obsession

with reclaiming land from the sea). Almost all the city on the seaward side of Strand and Waterkant is part of the reclaimed area of the city known as the Foreshore. If you look at old paintings of the city, you will see that originally waves lapped at the very walls of the castle, now more than half a mile from the ocean.

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Cape Town Sights

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Adderley Street

  • Neighborhood/Street

Originally named Heerengracht after a canal that once ran the length of the avenue, this street has always been Cape Town's principal...

Castle of Good Hope

  • Castle/Palace/Chateau

Despite its name, the castle isn't the fairy-tale fantasy type but rather a squat fortress that hunkers down as if to avoid shellfire.

Church Square

  • Neighborhood/Street

Church Square bore witness to much of Cape Town's dark history. An inconspicuous concrete plaque along Spin Street's median is all that's...

Church Street Arcade

  • Store/Shop/Mall

The center of Cape Town's art and antiques business, this section of Church Street is a pedestrian mall filled with art galleries, antiques...

City Hall

  • Government Building

From a balcony in this building overlooking Darling Street, Nelson Mandela gave the historic speech upon his release from prison in 1990.

Company's Garden

  • Garden/Arboretum

One of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets is also a great place to seek relief from a sweltering summer day if the beach is packed. These...

District Six Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

Housed in the Buitenkant Methodist Church, this museum preserves the memory of one of Cape Town's most vibrant multicultural neighborhoods...

Grand Parade

  • Market/Bazaar

Once a military parade ground, this is now just a bleak parking lot—with a statue of Edward VII serving as a parking attendant and...

Greenmarket Square

  • Plaza/Square/Piazza

For more than a century this cobbled square served as a forum for public announcements, including the 1834 declaration abolishing slavery,...

Groote Kerk

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Across from the slave tree on Church Square's eastern end is the entrance to the Gothic-style Groote Kerk. One of South Africa's most...

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