Perhaps it was history that ordained that it be here, at the Cape of Good Hope that we should lay the foundation stone of our new nation. For it was here at this Cape, over three centuries ago, that there began the fateful convergence of the people of Africa, Europe and Asia on these shores. ~ Former President Nelson Mandela (May 9, 1994).
Cape Town is also known the world over for its harbor as well as for the Cape Floral Kingdom which is one of the most beautiful floristic regions of the world. The city of Cape Town was founded in 1652 by Jan van Riebeeck, a Dutch naval administrator who worked for the Dutch East India Company.
It was controlled by the Dutch from 1781 to 1795 until the British won the city of Cape Town in 1795 during the Napoleonic wars. The 18th and the 19th century saw some significant construction in the city of Cape Town, which include the world-famous Suez Canal.
Due to geographic location, Cape Town became the capital of the British Cape Colony in 1814 and was made the legislative capital of South Africa from 1910.
Facts and Information
Many people still think Africa to be untamed territory. However, the condition of this city is no less than some of the most industrially advanced cities in the world. Here are some facts which will help you know the most famous town in the whole of Africa a little better.
► Previously the city was called the 'Cape of Storms' by Bartholomeu Dias. This was because he encountered many dangerous storms on the way to the East Coast of Cape Town. The name was later changed to the 'Cape of Good Hope', to please the King of Portugal.
► Many people know that Cape Town is the city where Dr. Chris Barnard performed the world's first heart transplant, but not many know that in 1826, this city also witnessed the world's first Cesarean birth performed by Dr. James Barry.
► The youngest official language in the world is spoken in Cape Town and is known as Afrikaans. Almost 40% of the population speaks this population and the remaining 60% speaks English as their official language.
► It was the city of Cape Town in which electric lights were first used. Electric lights were first used on April 13th 1895 to light up the streets of Cape Town.
► The oldest living tradition of Cape Town is the firing of the Noon Day guns at Lion Battery on Signal Hall. The gun is fired everyday to signal 12 PM (noon) except on Sundays. This tradition started in 1806 by the Dutch East India Company when the guns were fired at 6 AM and 9 PM to mark the beginning and the end of day.
Despite being heavily influenced by the African culture, Cape Town is home to many expatriates from all around the world. It's not only one of the most popular destinations in South Africa, but also in Africa. So, we have given you guys enough reasons to travel to this amazing city. So pack your bags and do tell me about your journey.