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Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa with dozens of beautiful and historical buildings scattered around the inner city. Many of these buildings are still in use as commercial or residential properties, while others have been converted into museums. Read on to discover some of the most iconic buildings in Cape Town.
Across the road from the Castle of Good Hope is the beautiful Cape Town City Hall. This large Edwardian building dates back to 1905, and was designed by architects Harry Austin Reid and Frederick George Green, who won a public competition to design the building. The hall’s main chamber boasts an organ with 3000 pipes and regularly hosts musical concerts by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and other intriguing events. Widespread renovations have reinvigorated the interior of this iconic building, but thanks to its impressive clock tower and honey-coloured limestone facade, it’s still best appreciated from the outside.
Darling Street, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 21 465 2029
The Old Town House on Cape Town’s central Greenmarket Square was built in 1755 in the Cape Rococo style. The Old Town House served as a watch house, a senate, and a main city hall until the Cape Town City Hall was opened. Today the historical building is a museum that houses the world-renowned Max Michaelis Collection of Netherlandish Art from the 17th-century Golden Age.
149 Longmarket Street, Cape Town, South Africa,+27 21 481 3933
The Groote Kerk is the oldest church in South Africa, built by Herman Schuette in 1841, and it replaced a former church on the same ground. The Dutch Reformed church houses South Africa’s largest organ with nearly 6000 pipes. During colonial times, the Groote Kerk was attended by slave owners while their slaves waited outside under the ‘slave tree.’
43 Adderley Street, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 21 422 0569
The old Reserve Bank Building is a beautiful, iconic Cape Town building that takes some seeking out. You’ll find it on the corner of St. George’s Mall and Wale Street, though today it forms part of the luxury Taj Hotel. The building was designed by South African architect James Morris, and was completed in 1932. Though the lavish interiors have been updated to better serve as a hotel, the spectacular exterior is untouched.
1 Wale St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 21 819 2000
The Houses of Parliament consist of three main sections, with the original building completed in 1884. Collectively they house the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. The original Neoclassical-style building, featuring Cape Dutch accents, overlooks the lush Company’s Garden while the newer buildings are accessible from Plein Street. The Houses of Parliament are still in use by government, and visitors can enter the precinct at certain times of the year by presenting to the visitor centre.
Plein Street, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 21 403 2144