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JJohannesburg’s Constitution Hill remembers the horrors of the past, and yet embraces the promises of the future, marrying them with the reality of the present. It is home to the Constitutional Court, the birthplace of our democracy and protector of our human rights.
CConstitution Hill is a human rights precinct and a world-class heritage tourist attraction incorporating cultural, historical, artistic, educational and recreational spaces that celebrate South Africa's ability to negotiate a peaceful, miraculous democracy out of bloody oppression.
IIt is also the home of the South African Constitutional Court, which was opened in March 2004. It is located between the Braamfontein and Hillbrow precincts in Johannesburg and retains important national and international heritage buildings, including the Old Fort prison complex of Johannesburg, and the Women's Goal.
With its four lookout towers, the Old Fort was once a place of fear and hopelessness. Built by the Transvaal government in 1899 as a bulwark to protect the city against the advancing British during the Anglo-Boer War, it was converted in 1904 into a jail that for most of the century would house a variety of prisoners of all races.
But it was made infamous as the prison where political prisoners were sent, including Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, which led to it being dubbed the Robben Island of Johannesburg. This is why it occupies such an indelible place in the consciousness of the nation.
The museum section of Constitution Hill includes the Mandela Cell, which features a documentary of his incarceration and emotional return 40 years later.
Bricks from portions of the Old Fort that were demolished were used for the construction of the inner walls of the South African Constitutional Court. This is in stark contrast to the vibrant African art exhibited in the ultra-modern building.
The complex includes a coffee shop, bookshop, tourism office and exhibition spaces. Future plans include a hotel, a visitor's centre, a Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory, and various retail outlets.
Aside from guided tours to some of the highlights, Constitution Hill also has meeting, banqueting and conferencing venues on offer and frequently hosts discussions and events focusing on human rights.
South Africa’s culinary heritage is as colourful as its flag, and as multi-layered as its 11 official languages.
The Cradle, so named because it was the earliest area in which evidence of our ape-like ancestors were discovered, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999
The Afrikaans culture is as rich and diverse as the South African landscape.
The music culture in South Africa is made up of diverse genres, from jazz, hip hop, kwaito and gospel to pop and alternative rock.
From soft red tea leaves and fermented milk to home-made beers and pub-favoured shooters, these are some of South Africa’s finest drinks.
The first shebeens in South Africa were local bars and taverns where mostly working-class urban males could unwind, socialise, and escape the oppression of life during the Apartheid era.
Gumboot dancing was originally a means of communication amongst miners who were forbidden from talking to one another.
Paul Kruger Street Synagogue, the first synagogue to be constructed in Pretoria, was expropriated by the government in 1952 and converted into a special Supreme Court.