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With hundreds of years of history, Cape Town has fascinating and important tales to tell, and the best way to discover them is by visiting one of the city’s many museums.
Much of Cape Town’s early history is defined by slavery and the arrival of settlers, and the subsequent onset of apartheid. Many of the city’s museums highlight this history, and along with a new wave of institutions exhibiting the best of contemporary art, they offer a fascinating insight into both Cape Town and South Africa.
Not technically located in Cape Town, the popular Franschhoek Motor Museum represents a more privileged face of South African history. A 45-minute drive from Cape Town’s city centre, the museum is a showcase of the extravagant wealth that defines the wine-rich area. However, it also provides a fascinating window into a different era – with a staggering collection of vintage vehicles. It’s a must-visit for fans of classic cars – there are more than 220 on display, including rarities like a 2003 Ferrari Enzo and even an 1898 Beeston motor tricycle.
The Castle of Good Hope, or ‘The Castle’, is the oldest surviving building and military fort in South Africa, dating back to 1679. Today, it exhibits an array of military artefacts, colonial furniture, art and exhibitions with special significance to the early Cape. While it’s not on the scale of historic castles around the world, it serves as an important landmark in the heart of the city. Visitors can explore the grounds, which house several displays, and see the Key Ceremony weekdays at 10am and 12pm.