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Top 10: Historical sites in the Western Cape

Robben Island Historical landmark Robben Island

1 The Castle of Good Hope

This pentagonal fortress in Cape Town is the oldest surviving structure in South Africa and was built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company. more

2 Robben Island

Home to the prison where the late former President Nelson Mandela was incarcerated, the island now welcomes visitors from all over the world to view his cell, and the cell of many other famous freedom fighters. more

3 Dorp Street, Stellenbosch

This entire street in the oldest town in South Africa has been declared a national heritage site thanks to its impressive buildings in the Cape-Dutch style. more

4 Groot Constantia, Cape Town

This imposing Cape Dutch homestead belonged to Cape Governor Simon van der Stel from 1699 to 1712 and has since become known for its fine wines. more

5 Bo-Kaap

Candy-coloured houses along the alleyways of this thriving Muslim community are a photographer’s delight, while the Bo-Kaap Museum explains the complex social history of the neighbourhood. more

6 Franschhoek

Franschhoek directly translated is ‘The French Corner’. It was settled by Huguenots (French Protestants) in the 1700s. This town is home to a fine museum and historical wine cellars that still bear French names. more

7 Sheik Yusuf Kramat

One of the most important spiritual shrines in the country. Sheik Yusuf is said to be the father of Islam in South Africa and lived in the Cape in the late 1600’s. more

8 Church Street, Tulbagh

Tulbagh’s entire Church Street has been declared a heritage site and features lovingly restored and maintained Cape Dutch buildings straight out of the 18th century.

9 The Company’s Garden, Cape Town

In Upper Addlerley Street is the oldest garden in South Africa, established in 1652 by Jan van Riebeeck as a vegetable garden to supply fresh produce to passing ships. more

10 Bartholomeu Dias Museum Complex, Mossel Bay

Established in 1988, this museum complex is a tribute to the discoverer Bartholomeu Dias and boasts an impressive replica of his Caravel. more