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IIn the heart of Cape Town, on St George’s Mall, stands a century-old building designed by the famous architect Sir Herbert Baker. Built in 1903 to house the newly founded De Beers mining corporation, it was donated to the Mandela Rhodes Foundation in 2003 and now serves as their headquarters.
For many years the beautiful building, with granite quarried from Table Mountain, was known as Rhodes House after Cecil John Rhodes. Rhodes began a scholarship programme in the early 1900s to award bright young minds with the ability to study at Oxford University in England. In recent years the scholarship was taken on by Nelson Mandela, with the Mandela Rhodes Foundation being formed.
TToday Mandela Rhodes House not only forms the headquarters for the Foundation, but also has a number of rooms rented out to similar institutions. The top floor is used as a penthouse for VIPs and guests of the Foundation.
Mandela Rhodes Building
NNearby, a modern multi-storey building called Mandela Rhodes Place hosts a hotel, retail space and apartments. Four other historic buildings have been restored and integrated into the general area of the Mandela Rhodes Building.
The nearby hotel, which is linked to the Mandela Rhodes Building, shows Madiba’s life in 14 stages. From his childhood to his death, you can find information on how he lived and changed the face of South Africa forever. Along with artworks depicting him, there are a number of paintings and sculptures of other great struggle heroes such as Desmond Tutu. Be on the lookout for a piece of the Berlin Wall, which was gifted to Tata Madiba. The piece now sits outside the Mandela Rhodes House, symbolising freedom from oppression.
South African urban architectural design tours introduce visitors to the eclectic array of styles and influences behind the country’s most iconic buildings.
South Africans are a diverse mix of peoples from Africa, Europe, Asia and elsewhere, and the many museums scattered around the country preserve rich histories, heritages and cultural traditions.
Nobel Square at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront honours Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk, Desmond Tutu and Alfred Luthuli – the 4 South Africans who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
South Africa is a country of rich religious diversity, protected by the Constitution, so explore sacred architecture and spiritual traditions at our many historic places of worship.
The Western Cape offers a rich floral kingdom, pristine beaches, a globally renowned wine industry, award-winning restaurants and a unique history and heritage.