Johannesburg Sights

Constitution Hill

  • Joubert and Kotze Sts. Map It
  • City Center
  • Historic District/Site
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 03/07/2016

Fodor's Review

Overlooking Jo'burg's inner city and suburbs, Constitution Hill houses the Constitutional Court, set up in 1994 with the birth of democracy, as well as the austere Old Fort Prison Complex (also called Number Four), where thousands of political prisoners were incarcerated, including South African Nobel Peace laureates Albert Luthuli and Nelson Mandela, and iconic Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi. The court decides on the most important cases relating to human rights, much like the Supreme Court in the United States. Exhibits in the visitor center portray the country's journey to democracy. You can walk along the prison ramparts (built in the 1890s), read messages on the We the People Wall (and add your own), or view the court itself, in which large, slanting columns represent the trees under which African villagers traditionally met to discuss matters of importance. If the court isn't in session, you can walk right into the courtroom, where many of the country's landmark legal

decisions have been made in recent years and where the 11 chairs of the justices are each covered in a different cowhide, representing their individuality. A small but good shop carries interesting titles about South African history. Group tours of the Old Fort Prison Complex are given every hour on the hour from 9 to 4 and include a visit to the Women's Jail, where there are photographs and exhibits of how women were treated in the prison system and how they contributed to the struggle against apartheid. You can also take a private tour, which departs at any time.

Read More

Sight Information


Joubert and Kotze Sts., entrance on Joubert St., Braamfontein, Johannesburg, Gauteng, 2001, South Africa

Map It



Sight Details:

  • Court free; Old Fort group tour R50, private tour R70
  • Court daily 9–5 (Weds. 9-1), last entry at 4. Old Fort group tours daily on the hr, 9–4; private tours by appointment

Published 03/07/2016


Book A Trip



  • CARS

Map View

What's Nearby

  • Sights

See all sights in Johannesburg

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?




Don't Miss

No Thanks