Down Darling Street

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DARLING STREET: First named Keizersgracht (Emperor’s Canal) – a canal was formed by diverting a stream that filled the moat of the Castle. Named after Charles Darling who convened the first Cape Parliament in 1854.

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GRAND PARADE: The northern corner is the site of the original fort built by Jan van Riebeck in 1652. That fort had four bastions named after ships: Drommedaris, Oliphant, Walvis and Reiger. Then a parade ground. In the Parade you will find the Anglo-Boer War Memorial and statue of King Edward VII who succeeded Queen Victoria in 1902. He refused to be crowned as King of England until peace was achieved between the British troops and the Boers. This marked him as a great statesman and it is for this deed that he holds such a prominent place in the city.

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CITY HALL: built in 1905 as tribute to Queen Victorias Golden Jubilee in 1887, but the Boer War intervened with the completion of the Italian Renaissance style building that stands right opposite the parade on Darling street.

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the building is made up of local granite, imported Bath sandstone with red and grey Aberdeen granite (columns) and Sicilian marble for the main staircases. Woodwork is teak and the clock tower is half the size of Big Ben with 39 bells.

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Nelson Mandela addressed the nation from the balcony of City Hall on 11/02/1990 after his release from prison.
Home of the CT Symphony and one of my favorite buildings in Cape Town.

20120508-084000.jpg one would also find Old Mutual Heights on Darling Street, the pinnacle of art deco in South Africa.
Next door to Old Mutual is the Eastern Bazaar, which is a food market. Grab great food at a great price.

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Gothic Church

Metropolitan Methodist Church (1876): It’s a great gothic church equipped with gargoyles – awesome!

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Old Townhouse

(1761) First used by Burgerwacht started in 1696 by Simon van der Stel – basically a night patrol. Every male between 16 and 60 had to take turns. Also called the Rattle Watch.

A sergeant, corporal, drummer and 12 men. Gaudy uniform, a small salary, a large sword and a noisy rattle. Every hour they would shout out the time, sound their rattles, check for nocturnal loiterers, arsonists and fires. Wealthy burghers “bought” replacements and soon the Rattle Watch became a permanent profession.

They had the authority to arrest wrongdoers and put them in jail. At first they were quite zealous but soon succumbed to the pleasures of inns and wine-houses, the doors of which would open find at the first showing of a rattle! Dissolved in 1792. Then used as police Headquarters and then as Townhouse… City Hall.

Now houses Michaelis Collection of Flemish masterpieces. On front porch there is a circle which is the centre of Cape Town and where all distances in SA are measured from

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Greenmarket Square

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GREENMARKET SQUARE: As early as 1696 farmers, free people of colour and slaves gathered here to trade, barter and gossip. The square was a hive of activity where fresh produce was traded and where skilled artisans, porters, wagons and carts could be hired. It was here that on 1/12/1834 the emancipation of the slaves was announced.

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ST GEORGE’S CATHEDRAL

An Anglican Church and the Struggle Church of Arch-Bishop Desmond Tutu.
From its steps Tutu led a mass demonstration of 30 000 people to the Grand Parade in 1989. Here the phrase “Rainbow Nation” was born and refugees were housed in the building. First built in classical Greek Temple style, which then fell into disfavour as being too pagan. Designed by Sir Herbert Baker and Francis Massey. Rebuilt in French Gothic style at end of 19th Century and only reached its present state after 1979. Berg Street – running down from the cathedral was renamed St George’s Street

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30Rock in Cape Town

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So here is Cape Towns very own 30 Rock. Not in the sense that a television station runs from there, or that funny shenanigans go down behind the walls each and every day. In fact no real big corporation runs from there, the building is mainly residential. So how is it similar… Both buildings are great style of art deco architecture that was so popular on the twenties and thirties. It did start out as a building for business but as time went by the building was slowly converted to cater for residents seeking inner city living at its best. Offering tenants a double volume living space all with a loft.
The penthouse, a three floored apartment at the top of the Mutual Heights that offer a wonderful 360 degree view from mountain to harbor and everything in between.

OLD MUTUAL: Best example of CT art deco – Cape Granite.
Frieze depicting scenes from SA history by Ivan Mitford- Barbeton.
Entrance and Banking Hall intact, but rest converted to apartments.
One of the most sought-after addresses in the inner city

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Adderley Street

ADDERLEY STREET: On 21 Feb 1850 the British government was coerced by the people of Cape Town to divert a convict ship destined for the Cape to the convict settlement in Van Diemens Land in Tasmania. Sir Charles Adderley, a member of the British parliament, championed the cause of the Cape colonists.As a token of gratitude the Municipality of Cape Town presented Adderley with the considerable sum of 100 pounds and named the city’s main street after him even though he had not, and never did, set foot in this city.
The previous name of Adderley street was the Heerengracht, when translated from Dutch means Gentlemen’s Canal. Here Cape Town’s prosperous lived and the canal removed their waste. By 1850, the canal had been covered over but the gracht continued to carry storm water under the road. The exits and ventilation holes were sealed, but the furrows were never filled. Some years later, gaslight was introduced along Adderley Street, and slowly but surely, over many years, gas seeped into a great subterranean chamber carved out by the underground water.
At 10.33 am on Tuesday 13 June 1905, a worker was installing tram lines along this busy street and heating up metal until it was white-hot. A stray spark ignited gas leaking from the underground chamber and Adderley Street exploded! The ground was ripped open and blue flames burst out of the hissing cracks and fissures. People and horse-drawn carriages disappeared down the holes or were thrown like rag dolls across the street. After this the canal was filled in.

STANDARD BANK: Opulent Victorian style, designed by Charles Freeman in 1880. In 1920 an extra floor added. Britannia on top. The carved heads at the entrance are of Ceres, goddess of Agriculture and Poseidon, god of the sea and trade.

SLAVE LODGE: First slaves arrived in 1658 – housed in the old fort. SL built in 1679 to house company slaves near workplace – Co’s Gardens. Also housed convicts & mentally ill persons and acted informally as a brothel. Pediment in Parliament Street shows Anreith’s version of the Br Coat of Arms – worn-out-looking lion due to Napoleonic Wars and surprised unicorn. Afterwards used as a courtroom, office of Receiver of Revenue, a post office and a cultural history museum. J & M v R’s tombstones in garden – buried in Batavia. Anreith born in S Germany in 1754; schooled in Rococo, basis of later Baroque style. Also carpenter of note. Master Sculptor to DEIC.

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