- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Castle of Good Hope
Castle of Good Hope Review
Despite its name, the castle isn't the fairy-tale fantasy type but rather a squat fortress that hunkers down as if to avoid shellfire. Built between 1665 and 1676 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) to replace an earthen fort constructed in 1652 by Jan van Riebeeck, the Dutch commander who settled Cape Town, it's the oldest building in the country. Its pentagonal plan, with a diamond-shape bastion at each corner, is typical of the Old Netherlands defense system adopted in the early 17th century. The design was intended to allow covering fire for every portion of the castle. As added protection, the whole fortification was surrounded by a moat, and back in the day, the sea nearly washed up against its walls. The castle served as both the VOC headquarters and the official governor's residence, and still houses the regional headquarters of the National Defence Force. Despite the bellicose origins of the castle, no shot has ever been fired from its ramparts, except ceremonially.
You can wander around on your own or join one of the highly informative guided tours at no extra cost. Also worth seeing is the excellent William Fehr Collection. Housed in the governor's residence, it consists of antiques, artifacts, and paintings of early Cape Town and South Africa.
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $3299 -- 10-Nt. South Africa Adventure w/Air, $300 Off Friendly Planet Travel
My husband and I live in Cape Town and it has been our home for the past 25 years – I am from the England.
Most vacations we travel to some far away land with lots of advice from all you guys o Read more
Including international travel from the US and transfers between parks and countries, the entire duration of this trip is about 3 weeks total.
I did the nontraditional part at the start of the trip, bu Read more
At a vaguely spur of the moment , as we say here in Yankeeland, we are consdeiring a Mid-late 2013 September trip to CapeTown, Londolozi, and one other game park, not self -drive, destination) (Or, perhaps Read more
· News & Features
When Hollywood came calling, these 10 hotels were ready for their close-ups. ... Read more
Brooklyn's hot right now, particularly if you're in the Western hemisphere.... Read more
Whether its heights, speed, wild animals, or something else, we've all got a fear that needs conquering.... Read more