Gold of Africa Museum
Did you know?
The term 'gold' comes from an old Anglo-Saxon world 'geolo', or yellow.
Probably the biggest factor that shaped the South Africa of today was the discovery of gold in 1886. People from other countries flooded in, imperial Britain suddenly found the country a desirable acquisition, infrastructure burgeoned and the natural demographic pattern changed forever.
In its gold-mining heyday South Africa produced two-thirds of the world's gold, and the Gold of Africa Museum, housed in the venerable Martin Melck House in Cape Town, tells the story of the rich gold tradition here, as well as in the rest of Africa.
The heart of the gold museum is the renowned collection of about 350 West African gold artefacts from the Barbier-Muller Museum in Geneva, and included in the impressive display are jewellery and artworks from the continent's ancient civilisations.
The goldsmithing workshop makes a major contribution to preserving the art of African wrought gold, which now inspires modern designs with African themes. The management sees the perpetuation of traditional African gold skills as a key role of the Gold of Africa museum.
There is a boutique shop offering an exclusive range of gold items, both traditional and modern, in 18- and 20-carat gold, and tourists with strong foreign currency will find this a good place to shop.
A striking 200-seater restaurant, which is a live-music venue, a courtyard garden and a wine cellar, add immensely to the general appeal and practical uses of the museum, which accepts conferences of up to 50 people.
Temporary exhibitions from as far afield as Egypt, India, Brazil and Mali introduce the visitor to the fine work of other cultures, and there are audio-visual displays in a presentation suite.
Gold has a warm and special glow about it, as has the ambience of this Cape Town gold museum's complex, in which you are surrounded by gold works beautifully lit to best advantage.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Gold of Africa museum
Martin Melck House
96 Strand Street,
Tel: +27 21 405-1540