Rhodes Memorial, Cape Town
Did you know?
The De Beers mining company at one time controlled 90% of the market for rough diamonds.
Rhodes Memorial on the slopes of Devil's Peak in Cape Town honours one of the most controversial figures of South Africa's past.
Those who admired him thought him a ‘colossus'; those who loathed him believed he had aspirations to be ‘the Emperor of Africa'. What cannot be argued is that he was a larger-than-life character bestriding our political landscape, thus the Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town.
Cecil John Rhodes, born in England, made his fortune on the diamond diggings of Kimberley. He was the founder of the De Beers diamond company, but it was in politics that he left an indelible impression.
An arch imperialist, he had grand visions of a string of British dominions stretching from Cape to Cairo. In 1880 he was elected to the Cape parliament as a member for Barkly West, becoming prime minister a decade later. At the same time he used mining charters and his wealth to establish corporate control over what is now Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.
His dream was also to bring the 2 Boer republics under British influence. To this end he was a crucial conspirator in the disastrous Jameson Raid, which contributed to the Anglo-Boer War, now known as the South African War. He died in 1902 during the final stages of that conflict.
Designed by esteemed architect Herbert Baker, Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town is situated on his favourite spot facing northeast. The memorial is on land he owned on the lower slopes of Table Mountain, much of which he bequeathed to the nation on his death.
Sharing space with the Rhodes Cape Town memorial are the University of Cape Town's upper campus and the stunning Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.
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Cape Town Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)21 487 6800