A CASTLE OF INCLUSIVITY, HEALING, LEARNING, MEMORALISATION AND SO MUCH MORE…

Welcome,

Visitors often ask us whether the Castle is a "museum". Technically, they are correct, with only one modification: Museum (s) in the plural! Yes, the 358-year-old Castle of Good Hope, a National Heritage site, a critical infrastructure, a former Army base, a former seat of government, a slave port, and many more, is a collection of nine ‘permanent’ boutique museums (and counting) each contributing to a narrative that is unapologetically decolonial, inclusive, brave, challenging, and educational. In no order, here we go.

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CAPE TOWN’S NEW MARKET KUIER@THECASTLE A BIG SUCCESS IN CBD

Following the resounding success of the first market in February, Cape Town‘s CBD will be buzzing with creativity again on 30 March with the next instalment of Kuier@TheCastle. Hosted by the Craft + Design Institute (CDI) in collaboration with the Castle of Good Hope, this monthly market has already made a significant impact, featuring over 70 local creatives, drawing 1300 visitors to the market, and generating over R200 000 in income for the vendors at the inaugural event.

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** IMPORTANT PUBLIC NOTICE **

19th March to 4th April 2024

Kindly be informed that there is a filming project at the Castle of Good Hope which may detract from your experience from the 19th of March to the 4th of April (excl Sundays). We really apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

* IMPORTANT NOTICE *

Change in opening times

 Please also take note of the change in Opening Times, which are now 09:00 to 16:00.

We apologise for any inconvenience.


Castle Of Good Hope: Turning History Into Our Story

12th April 2018.

 

Constructed in the mid-17th century out of rock hewn from Signal Hill and slate gathered from Robben Island, the Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa and one of the best-preserved examples of Dutch East India architecture. Originally perched on the coastline of Table Bay after land reclamation, the erstwhile fort is now a sprawling landmark on the corner of Darling and Castle Streets on the way to Cape Town’s bustling Foreshore.

 

 

We discovered the Cape Doctor certainly lives up to its name as we cross the moat and enter the Castle’s precincts to meet Doreen Hendricks, the Castle’s powerhouse Tourism & Marketing Manager. The interview becomes a fascinating journey about the possibilities of transformation and how the colonial past can be transformed into a reimagining of our future.

“The Castle was exclusive for many years, whether to a particular racial group or individuals on a particular career path. It was specifically designed and built to keep people out, but as a tourism heritage site we want to invite people in. We can’t change the structure of the building, but we can change the perceptions of people.

“Everything in the Cape started here at the Castle. Our slogan is, ‘The beginning of everything’. We also position ourselves as the centre for shared heritage in South Africa. Here you have the culmination of so many things and so many people. We are all connected in some way, and the Castle played a major role in that.

“We aim to bring people together and not only recognise differences, but also commonalities and move forward from there. That’s what we started doing in 2016 during our 350-year commemoration and what we are continuing to do going forward.

 

 

“How do we do that? A lot of people talk about deconolising history, but in the words of our good friend Professor Denis Goldberg, we do deconolisation of history. We give people a platform to have a voice, to tell their stories and to be recognised. We want them to remember, heal and learn through this process; whether it be via an exhibition, a debate, a community forum or a traditional ceremony.

“The Castle of Good Hope is a self-sufficient public entity. We generate income via our commercial tourism and event activities, which in turn help us fund community heritage initiatives. We rely heavily on partnerships to do development work and appeal to corporate South Africa to support us in order for us to grow our heritage, culture and education department. The fact that our Department of Defence is looking after the maintenance of the Castle, is a huge bonus.

Recently we launch a 350-legacy project, focusing on the passing of the history onto the youth of today. Even though the 350-commemoration was concluded in 2016, the story has actually just begun.We have created a timeline of the inclusive history of the Castle – from when it was first built up until 2016. The timeline, as seen above, includes untold stories of the past as well as the recognition of unsung heroes and warriors. These timelines have been rolled out in 72 schools nationwide with the aim of getting them rolled out into 400 more throughout the country. We want our kids to feel included and become excited about their heritage.

 

 

“We also know that the youth nowadays learn through technology, so we have developed an interactive website, virtual tour and video which would speak to them in a language that they understand. We are in the process of developing an app that they would be able to download onto their phones and tablets, which makes history available to them immediately and in a fun way.

“We are positioning ourselves as an exciting, forward-thinking heritage site. People – whether they are locals or tourists – want an experience. They don’t want to stand at a glass window looking in; they’re looking for interaction – touching, feeling, talking, engaging. We are therefore working hard to ensure our product is interactive.

“Over and above all the exhibitions, we also host a variety of events…. from flower shows to lifestyle markets, from music festivals to conferences and weddings.

“We want to open our doors to not only tourists, but to locals, to Capetonians. People whose lives have links here – and who may not even know it.”

 

 

SA Tourism Services Association
Frequently Asked Questions For Tourists Travelling To SA [PDF 2MB]
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Tourism Industry Standard Protocols
For COVID-19 Operations

DOWNLOAD the document here.

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The high season is in full swing and that means that visitors from all over will be in Cape Town for a much-needed holiday break. Each visitor must have the best possible experience – particularly with regards to safety.

Please be alert and aware of the following:

  • Only use secured ATMs, such as those in shopping centres or at the CTICC complex.
  • Do not allow anyone to take you to an ATM – fraudsters may attempt to take you to an ATM – say "no" when asked.
  • Do not accept help from anyone at an ATM. This includes uniformed personnel as Fraudsters may dress in uniform and approach you.
  • You do not need a COVID-19 permit or a permit to walk the streets of Cape Town.
  • Crime hotspot areas that should be avoided or proceeded with caution.

Very Important

Please download the Namola Safety App for free on your smartphones. The app can pinpoint their location with GPS and allows you to contact emergency services with a simple touch of a button. Get the app HERE.

Cape Town Cares

Should you be the unfortunate victim of crime in our city, please contact our Cape Town Cares team at: 021 487 6552. They will be able to assist visitors with replacement of lost documents, support counselling, helping visitors lay a charge at SAPS, changing itineraries and more.

An infographic with tips and emergency contact numbers.

DOWNLOAD the infographic here.

ccb band aid logo24/7 Band-Aid
Contact Number:
021 487 6552

Four steps for visitor safety.

DOWNLOAD the infographic here.

ccb atm logoBe ATM-wise!

DOWNLOAD the infographic here.

 

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ccb SATSA FAQs

Answering your questions on filming procedures during COVID-19 lock down.

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Latest Events

To see the latest upcoming events at the Castle of Good Hope, click on a day or the month title to display the event(s).

April 2024
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Key Ceremony

TIMES
10:00|12:00 

This showcases the unlocking of the Van der Stel entrance of the Castle of Good Hope by the ceremonial guards of the castle. It is a past practice that is still practised today.

Canon Firing

TIMES
10:00|11:00|12:00 

The firing of the signal cannon was used to indicate that a ship had been sighted at sea and to relay the message to people inside the fort. You can view the firing of an old cannon, performed by the Cannon Association of South Africa.

Guided Tours

TIMES
11:00|12:00|14:00|15:00|16:00 

Unearth the hidden history of the Castle with a guided tour led by an experienced guide. Tours operate seven days a week.

 

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