Museums in Cape Town

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There are many Cape Town Museums that have become prominent tourist attractions. The most popular of the museums include:

South African Museum

This museum has some of South Africa’s most authoritative historical remains. It was built in 1825 and is regarded as the oldest museum in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. The museum hosts many exhibitions throughout the week to educate visitors about the untold facets of African history. The South African Museum has rare specimens of the extinct, pre-historic African mammal called the quagga. It also exhibits some restored remains of re-historic reptiles like the Karoo. In terms of art collections, the museum’s offerings include the world-famous Linton painting. The museum’s collection extends beyond just South Africa’s history, providing an enlightening glimpse into the evolution of the early man on the African continent. Adjacent to the museum is the Planetarium that hosts daily shows. Another place worth visiting is the Company Gardens that is a few steps away from the museum.

Location: 25 Queen Victoria Street, near Government Avenue, Cape Town 8001

Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

South African National Gallery

Opposite to the South African Museum lies the National Gallery or the South African Gallery. This gallery has a vast exhibit of artifacts, artillery, tools and handicrafts from the colonial era of South Africa. The collection includes remains from each of South Africa’s colonial rulers, including the Dutch, French and the British. The gallery is also popular for its periodic displays of photography, sculptures, paintings and rural artwork like bead work. The native, African bead work, called the Ndebele, has become a popular exhibit in the gallery.

Location: Government Avenue, Company's Garden, Cape Town

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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March 15, 2010 change by ak1980

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JOSEPHINE MILL

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Josephine Mill
Josephine Mill
photo by: DC

Cape Town's only surviving water mill built in 1818. The enormous cast iron wheel was built in 1840 by Jacob Letterstedt. Stone ground flour and back to source delicatessen and shop. Caveau at the Mill restaurant, functions and conference facilities.
Museum open Mon-Fri 10h00 - 16h00 and sfter hours by arrangement - shop and restaurant till late. Guided tours daily at 10h30, 11h30 & 14h30.

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address:Boundary Road, Newlands
tel:++27 (0)21 686 4939.
url:www.josephinemill.co.za
email:mill@josephinemill.co.za

CASTLE OF GOOD HOPE

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Built between 1666 - 1679, the Castle is the oldest building in South Africa. Pentagonal fortification with bastions at each corner named after the titles of the Prince of Orange namely: Buuren, Nassau, Catzenellenbogen, Oranje and Leerdam. It contains historical objects and the William Fehr Collection of paintings, porcelain, carpets, furniture and other objects. The newly renovated dolphin pool is now on view to visitors. Today the Castle serves as Headquarters for the Western Province Army Command. Changing of the guards:Mon - Fri 12h00. Guided Tours: Mon - Sun, 10h00, more..

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address:Buitekant Street, City
tel:++27 (0)21 469 1111.

BERTRAM HOUSE

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The late Georgian red-brick house is a typical example of early 19th century Cape British domestic architecture and is the last remaining example of its kind in the city. The Anna Lidderdale Collection forms the nucleus of the collection with examples of fine furniture, ceramics, silver and other objects d'art. Tues - Sat 09h30 - 16h30. Herb garden in process and coffee shop. Admission charged.

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address:Cnr Orange & Government Avenue, City
tel:++27 (0)21 24 9381.

CULTURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

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Originally built as a slave lodge for the Dutch East India Company in 1679 and later used as the Cape Supreme Court. This museum houses early postal stones, the history of currency and postage in South Africa; examples of furniture, glass ceramics, weapons, musical instruments and toys from the many countries whose people are represented in South Africa. The archeological section has interesting objects of Egyptian, Greek and Roman origin. The reconstructed tombstone of Jan van Riebeeck can also be seen in the courtyard. Mon-Sat 09h30-16h30. Closed Sun, Christmas Day and Good more..

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address:49 Adderley Street, City,
tel:++27 (0)21 461 8280.

RUGBY MUSEUM

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The largest rugby museum in the world housing a valuable collection of momentos dating back to 1891. Open Mon - Fri 09h30-16h00. Admission charged.

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address:Boundary Road, Newlands
tel:++27 (0)21 686 4532
openingHours:10h00 until 18h00 last entry 17h30

CITY HALL

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Completed in 1905, the building overlooks the Grand Parade and houses the City Library and the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. The Municipal Carillion in the tower which contains 39 bells and dates back to 1923is occasionally operated. The Carillon at Cape Town is the only one on the African continent. It was commissioned by the women of Cape Town as a monument to those who died in the Great War. The Carillon was manufactured by an English firm, Taylor and Son of Loughborough, and consists of 39 bells (CC-d). The total weight of the Carillon is around 15.5 tons. The Carillon was more..

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address:Darling Street, City,
tel:++27 (0)21 400 2230 .

FISH STOCKS

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This museum contains a collection of historical objects and documents; a small reference library; "Emmy", the do-it-yourself computerised marine encyclopaedia; alternating thermatic exhibitions; audio-visual presentations with colour-slides and video-tapes, models of fishing boats in action; fishing gear and various items of equipment. Open Tues - Sun 10h00 -16h00. Admission charged.

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address:West Quay Road, The Waterfront, Table Bay Harbour.
tel:++27 (0)21 418 2312.

SA MARITIME MUSEUM

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The museum contains information about future development plans, trade, the fishing industry, shipwrecks, shipping lines, raw materials; Table Bay harbour; ship modelling; the Union Castle Company; a shipwright workshop and a discovery cove for children.

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address:Dock Road, Table Bay Harbour .
tel:++27 (0)21 419 2506. (Museum Ships) Tel 25 3152.

SA MUSEUM

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Permanent display of natural history and archaeology. Also contains a printing museum. The forecourt area has been restyled and contains an education garden. There is also a resource centre. Open daily 10h00 -17h00. Closed Good Friday, Christmas Day. Admission charged. Free entry Wednesday.

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address:Queen Victoria Street, City Centre .
tel:++27 (0)21 24 3330.

S. A. Slave Church Museum

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Missionary Church dating from 1802. Open Mon - Fri 09h00 -16h00. Closed Sat & Sun and Public Holidays. Open on Saturdays during the school holidays, 09h00 -12h00. Admission free.

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address:40 Long Street, City Centre .
tel:++27 (0)21 423 6755.
email:museumhead@wol.co.za

FALSE BAY FIRE MUSEUM

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A large display of fire equipment, old and new, local and overseas including photographs, technical data and uniforms. By appointment only.

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address:48 Clovelley Road, Fish Hoek,
tel:++27 (0)21 782 1387

HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT

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During the recess guided tours Mon to Fri 11h00 and 14h00. Large groups please to phone before arrival. No guided tours during the Easter recess. Entry for visitors is via Parliament Street gate.

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address:Parliament Street, City.
tel:++27 (0)21 403 2911. During the parliamentary session, gallery tickets are available from Room 12. Overseas visitors are requested to present their passports.

HOUT BAY MUSEUM

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address:4 St Andrews Road, Hout Bay
tel:++27 (0)21 790 3270

IRMA STERN MUSEUM

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Houses a collection of works by this SA artist, antique furniture, art treasures from 600 BC and Congolese artefacts. Tues - Sat 10h00 - 17h00 Closed on Mon & Sun, Christmas Day, New Year, Good Friday, 26 Dec. Admission charged.

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address:(UCT) Cecil Road, Rosebank.
tel:++27 (0)21 685 5686.
url:www.irmastern.co.za

JEWISH MUSEUM

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The oldest synagogue in South Africa. Contains items of Jewish historical and ceremonial significance. Dec-Feb, Tues & Thurs 11h00 - 17h00 March-Nov 14h00 - 17h00. Wed 09h30 - 12h30; Sun 10H00 - 12H30 or by special appointment. Closed on Jewish holidays

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address:84 Hatfield Street, Gardens, City Centre.
tel:++27 (0)21 45 1546.

ARCHIVES

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Contains collections of documents and pictures dating back to the earliest days of the Cape. Mon Tues Wed & Fri 08h00 - 16h00. Thurs 08h00 - 19h00. Closed on Sat and public holidays. Admission free.

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address:72 Roeland Street City
tel:++27 (0)21 462 4050.

GROOT CONSTANTIA

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This is the oldest homestead in the Cape. The Manor House on the farm which was originally allocated to Governor Simon van der Stel portrays life on a farm in the 1800's. The collection consists of Cape furniture from the mid-1700's and Chinese, Japanese, Rhenish and Delft porcelain. The Wine Museum has wine drinking and storage vessels in glass, silver, copper and stoneware from 500 BC to the 19th century. Daily 10h00 - 17h00. Closed Christmas and Good Friday. Admission charged. Wine sales: Mon - Sun 10h00 - 17h00. Cellar tours daily on the hour from 11h00 - 15h00. From more..

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address:Off Constantia Road, Wynberg. M41
tel:++27 (0)21 794 5067.

BO-KAAP

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The delightful old buildings and cobbled streets make a walk or drive through this area very interesting. Bo-Kaap is rich in history. Islam originated from this area and the first mosque in South Africa can be visited here. Also buried in "Tana-Baru", the oldest cemetry in the area, are the pioneers and Holy Saints who came to this country as political exiles and who were imprisoned on the notorious Robben Island in the early 16th Century.

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BO-KAAP MUSEUM

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This house, built in the 18th century, portrays the lifestyle of a typical Malay family in the 19th century. An exhibition of carts and coaches can be seen in the community centre in the courtyard of the museum. Closed Monday, Sunday, Christmas and Good Friday. Admission charged.

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address:71 Wale Street
tel:++27 (0)21 24 3846

CAPE EDUCATION MUSEUM

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Displays of artefacts, documents and photographs on the development of education in the Cape Province. Mon - Fri 09h00 - 15h00.

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address:9 Aliwal Road, Wynberg
tel:++27 (0)21 762 1622.
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