History of Cape Town

Province Western Cape
Coordinates; 33.9243° S, 18.4187° E
Municipality City of Cape Town

.Cape Town was first established as a local municipality in 1839. The central part of the city is known as the city bowl owing to the amphitheatre-shaped geography of the area with the mountains surrounding the CBD.

Before Bartolomeu Dias arrived at the Cape in 1488, little is known about the inhabitants of the area. Remnants of human settlements in the peninsula date back about 15000 years.
Bartolomeu Dias and crew were the first Europeans in the area. He called it The Cape of Storms, in Portuguese, (Cabo das Tormentas). Later it was renamed Cape of Good Hope in 1497 by Vasco Da Gama with great hopes for the route to the Indies. Trading here was done between the local Khoi Khoi and many European traders and explorers. Tobacco, copper, and iron were traded with the Khoikhoi people in exchange for fresh meat.
Jan Van Riebeek and a crew employed by the Dutch East India Company arrived in 1652 to establish a way station. Cape Town locally known as the mother city is the oldest city in South Africa, it is also the legislative capital and the primate city of the Western Cape.

Adderley Street was originally paved entirely with wooden blocks.
By the 1900’s the street had become so busy that the city planners paved it with wood in an attempt to drown the noise from the many wagons, carts and horse hooves. It was discovered and unearthed by city workers towards the upper end of the street.
A construction crew upgrading the city’s pedestrian and cycle lanes uncovered the closely fitted wooden setts (cobbles) while they were digging up the road surface in August 2010.
Heritage Western Cape stepped in after the discovery was made, to conserve part of the city’s history.


Courtesy Cape Town Historical Society – JP Hanslo                                   Adderley Street outside the railway station

License plates in Greater cape Town are CA and CAA    Post Codes Street: 8001. Box: 8000


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Things to do and see in Cape Town City

  • The Cape Town Jazz Festival is held at the CTICC in April 021 671 0506
  • The South African good food and wine show is held at the CTICC in May 021 702 2280
  • the Cape Town cycle tour is in March info@cycletour.co.za
  • The Cape Town and Winelands film festival in March
  • In April the two oceans marathon
  • The wine affair at the V & A waterfront in May
  • Cape Town Art week in July
  • Cape Town Fashion Week is in August
  • Cape Town Art Fair marketing@fieramilano.co.za
  • The Heritage vine on the corner of Bree and Short Market Streets is the oldest wine-producing vine in the Southern Hemisphere. It is one of the few remaining original French vinifera rootstocks still alive. Estimated to have been planted in 1771, the roots of the vine trace back to the burghers of Cape Town, who planted vines in their gardens in order to make their own wine.
  • We Are Still Here Memorial at the Long Market Pedestrian Mall, Cape Town Central-This artwork was created by mosaic artists Lovell Friedman and Leora Lewis in memory of the 7,000 children that were advertised as destitute in the Cape Government Gazette between 1841 and 1921.
  • You can see the remains of a brick and stone reservoir which was exposed during excavations when building the Golden Acre shopping centre. It dates from 1663 it is currently encased in glass.
  • Take a guided tour of the secret tunnels and lost rivers with Voice Map 
  • ,Old slave tree memorial 18° 25′ 14.88″, 33° 55′ 28.56″ In Spin Street. An old fir tree stood here for hundreds of years until 1916 when it was cut down. An estimated 100,000 people were sold into slavery here. Today a raised octagonal plaque is faintly inscribed with the words, “On this spot stood the old slave tree”


Useful Numbers in Cape Town City

  • Police: 021 467 8078
  • Traffic department:Hillstar Traffic Department-0860 103 089
  • Fire: 021 444 0830
  • `Water: 0860103 089
  • Electricity:0860103 089
  • Ambulance: 10177
  • Post office; 021 464 1707
  • Library :021 444 0209
  • Closest hospital; Christiaan Barnard Memorial-021 441 0000
  • Clinic; Dorp Street Clinic-clinic-021 483 4662
  • Pharmacy; 021 595 1433
  • SPCA:Cape of Good Hope-021 700 4140
  • Schools:Cape Town High School-021 424 2168
    Good Hope Studies – English Language School -021 425 5403
  • City Bowl Ratepayers’ & Residents’ Association: www.cibra.co.za
  • City of Cape Town postal code 8001 (Street) 8000 (boxes)
  • Museums;Iziko Slave Lodge- 021 467 7229

Iziko Old Town House Museum-021 481 3933
Rust En Vreugd-021 464 3280
South African Sendinggestig Museum-021 423 6755
Martin Melck House-021 405 1540
Castle of Good Hope-021 787 1260
Iziko South African Museum(Natural history museum)021 481 3800 [/vc_column_text]