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CCape Town is known for Table Mountain and its pristine beaches but the main attraction is the architecture. Each area in the city has its own distinctive character and identity. From the multi-coloured buildings and cobbled streets of the Bo-Kaap to the Cape Dutch architectural buildings of the Cape Town City Centre. Anyone with an eye for architecture and history will revel in the beautiful simplicity of the Cape Dutch style and the stories that come with it.
Two buildings worth noting are the Company’s Garden and De Tuynhuys in the Cape Town City Centre.
In the late 1980s, South African State President P.W. Botha had realised that sustaining the burgeoning system of apartheid was untenable. Botha finally relented to the global call to end apartheid in 1989 when, on 5 July of the same year, he secretly met with Robben Island prisoner, Nelson Mandela.
MMandela and Botha sat in each other's company and spoke about a way forward. Decades of political division were symbolically laid to rest when Botha poured the tea for Mandela - a gesture unfathomable under the apartheid regime.
IIt was on the steps of De Tuynhuys on 18 March 1992, that South Africa announced the end of apartheid.
De Tuynhuys next to Company’s Garden in Cape Town is the president's home when he is in residence in the Cape and is well worth a look. After his election as President of the Republic of South Africa in 1994, Mandela would travel frequently between Johannesburg and Cape Town. Mandela would often be seen, much to everyone’s excitement, taking a walk through the Company’s Garden in his free time.
Although there are lots of examples of Cape Dutch architecture, there are a few specific buildings you should endeavour to see. Vergelegen, the home of the previous Cape Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel, is the oldest surviving example of this colonial Cape architecture. The house can be found in Somerset West just outside of Cape Town.
SSecunde's House is located in the Castle of Good Hope (also in Cape Town), and is well worth a visit.
In the centre of Cape Town is Heritage Square, which is populated with a number of Cape Dutch buildings, some of which house excellent restaurants, making them worth the visit for more reasons than one. The Square also houses the oldest grape-bearing vine in South Africa.
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