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Western Cape

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TThe Western Cape was the first place that Europeans settled in the country, in 1652 when Jan van Riebeeck’s three vessels landed at the Cape. As employees of the Dutch East India Company, they had come to establish a halfway station for ships travelling to and from the East. Their influence is evident in the buildings, some of which are 350 years old, and culture of the Western Cape.

The oldest surviving structure in South Africa, the Castle of Good Hope, was built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company. The castle has five corners, shaped similarly to a star. Each corner has a name: Buren, Nassau, Katzenellenbogen, Leerdam and Oranje. 

Did You Know?
SSouth Africa's oldest wine from Groot Constantia is so renowned it appears in Jane Austen's novel “Sense and Sensibility” as a cure for a broken heart, and is drunk to lift a character’s spirit in “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” by Charles Dickens.

TThe Company’s Garden, Cape Town, in Upper Adderley Street is the oldest garden in South Africa. It was established in 1652 by Jan van Riebeeck as a vegetable garden to supply fresh produce to passing ships.

Groot Constantia is an imposing Cape Dutch homestead that belonged to Cape Governor Simon van der Stel from 1699 to 1712. It is famous for its fine wines. Its cellar boasts sculptures by Anton Anreith.

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