Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back
Western Cape

You are only moments away

TThe District Six Museum in the old Methodist Mission Church recalls the life of this once-vibrant, racially mixed suburb and its destruction under apartheid. This museum in Cape Town seeks to reconnect with the spirit of the community and provide a different interpretation of the past. There are many places in Cape Town where you can capture the spirit of a bygone era, but the District Six Museum is where you will find the heart and soul of a broken community.

Housed in adjoining buildings in Buitenkant Street, in the inner city, the museum started out as a place for former residents to meet and discuss grievances, as well as resolve how best to get back to the piece of land they once called home. By 1994, this meeting place, the Methodist Church, had evolved into the District Six Museum. More recently, the museum expanded into the adjoining Sacks Futeran building.

The museum will transport you back in time, especially when reading the 300m-long memory cloth. It captures thousands of first-hand accounts of what life was like in District Six, the sadness of forced removals and the subsequent devastation of a community's wellbeing.

Did You Know?
TThe vibrant history of District Six was celebrated in a musical of the same name by David Kramer and the late Taliep Pietersen.

DDistrict Six was established in 1867, one of six districts in Cape Town. The area, on the outskirts of the inner city was vibrant, colourful and crowded. District Six was a vibrant centre with close links to the city and the port. By the beginning of the 20th century, however, the process of removals and marginalisation had begun.  

District Six Museum, Cape Town

Food
When to visit
How to get here

DDistrict Six was established in 1867, one of six districts in Cape Town. The area, on the outskirts of the inner city was vibrant, colourful and crowded. District Six was a vibrant centre with close links to the city and the port. By the beginning of the 20th century, however, the process of removals and marginalisation had begun.

People of all colours – residents, immigrants, artisans and merchants – owned and rented houses. They lived in harmony and were close to their places of work, school, worship and entertainment.

In 1901 all the black people were forced to move out, and as the decades passed by it became a predominantly coloured community.

DDistrict Six was a crowded place. More than 60 000 people lived there, but it was a happy place, until 1966 when the apartheid government declared it a white area under the Group Areas Act. Bulldozers moved in, and people watched in sadness and disbelief as their homes and belongings were destroyed. In a further act of humiliation and dehumanisation, people and their belongings were transported in open trucks to their new homes. A very sad part of South African history indeed.

By 1982 District Six was a barren strip of land, and so it remained for many years. So it is here, in the museum, where people can come and remember their history. It is a place of solace, a place to meet forgotten friends and, for some, a place of healing.

The museum is not only filled with personal memoirs and mementos, but also with poignant photographs, which tell both stories: one of a happier time, a bygone era, and the second one, the brutality of the apartheid state and how a once-proud community was destroyed.

Who to contact
How to get here
Best time to visit
Around the area
Tours to do
Get around
What will it cost
Length of stay
Where to stay
What to eat
Best buys

Related articles

Top 10 historical sites in the Western Cape - a rich heritage

Top 10 historical sites in the Western Cape - a rich heritage

The 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.

South Africa’s top 10 cultural villages

South Africa’s top 10 cultural villages

Experience music, dance and food from across the country, as well as Tsonga crafts and Zulu beer-brewing; and don’t forget the magical clicking language of the San people.

Music of South Africa - discover the rhythmic heartbeat

Music of South Africa - discover the rhythmic heartbeat

The music culture in South Africa is made up of diverse genres, from jazz, hip hop, kwaito and gospel to pop and alternative rock.

Ceremonies and traditions - food of South Africa

Ceremonies and traditions - food of South Africa

We really love eating, so join us at the table and tuck in.

11 South African drinks you’ll definitely love

11 South African drinks you’ll definitely love

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.

Shebeens – your uniquely South African local tavern experience

Shebeens – your uniquely South African local tavern experience

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.

Explore amazing organic wine farms and blankets of wildflowers

Explore amazing organic wine farms and blankets of wildflowers

Prepare to be enchanted by whitewashed fisherman’s cottages, seasonal wildflowers, seafood fresh from the sea, and wines with complexity and conscience.

The fascinating story behind the birth of gumboot dancing

The fascinating story behind the birth of gumboot dancing

Gumboot dancing was originally a means of communication amongst miners who were forbidden from talking to one another.

Art and science - The Cape Town Museum and Planetarium

Art and science - The Cape Town Museum and Planetarium

A walk up the beautiful Company’s Garden, at the top of Cape Town, takes you to the South African Museum.

Footsteps to Freedom

Footsteps to Freedom

Footsteps to Freedom will take you on a walking tour of all the great struggle sites in Cape Town.

St Mary’s Cathedral - St Mary’s Cathedral: Once a faithful bulwark against the forces of apartheid

St Mary’s Cathedral - St Mary’s Cathedral: Once a faithful bulwark against the forces of apartheid

St Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg is significant in taking a firm stand against apartheid.

Groote Schuur Building - Explore the house where South Africa’s freedom was born

Groote Schuur Building - Explore the house where South Africa’s freedom was born

The old official residence of the president of South Africa, Groote Schuur, is the very place where the country’s bright, new future first came into being.

Bishopscourt - Bishopscourt is a slice of heaven

Bishopscourt - Bishopscourt is a slice of heaven

Bishopscourt is a spellbinding residential suburb that boasts a rich history, lush valleys, oak-lined trees and pristine homes.

Mandela Rhodes Building - Grand old lady in the heart of Cape Town City.

Mandela Rhodes Building - Grand old lady in the heart of Cape Town City.

The Mandela Rhodes Building was built in 1903 and now houses the headquarters for the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

Explore St George's Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in southern Africa

Explore St George's Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in southern Africa

At St George's Cathedral, the church kept its doors open to people of all races throughout the apartheid era.

Cape Town City Hall – A grand old building.

Cape Town City Hall – A grand old building.

Cape Town City Hall – A grand old building.

Houses of Parliament –The heart of Cape Town

Houses of Parliament –The heart of Cape Town

Houses of Parliament –The heart of Cape Town

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (Zeitz MOCAA)

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (Zeitz MOCAA)

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (Zeitz MOCAA)

Explore South Africa while sowing the seeds of rural upliftment

Explore South Africa while sowing the seeds of rural upliftment

Have you heard of Agritourism? This is a category of tourism that provides visitors the opportunity to experience everyday life on working farms, ranches, wineries and agricultural industries.

Oudtshoorn - The capital of the Klein Karoo

Oudtshoorn - The capital of the Klein Karoo

Inland from the Cape’s famous Garden Route, over breathtakingly beautiful mountain passes, magnificent red rocks and the wide open spaces of the Klein Karoo, you’ll find Oudtshoorn – once known internationally as the ostrich capital of the world

From the roots of all humanity to a human story that inspired the world

From the roots of all humanity to a human story that inspired the world

While South Africa embodies our most ancient roots, we have evolved into an amazing mix of modern cultures.

Be humbled by the heroes of Robben Island

Be humbled by the heroes of Robben Island

As you make your way through the corridors of Robben Island, you get transported to a time in South African history where the country reached a turning point.

South Africa and its jazz scene

South Africa and its jazz scene

Jazz fans from around the world appreciate the skill and vibrant talent of South African jazz musicians.

Copyright © 2018 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy