Province Western Cape
Coordinates; 33.9382° S, 18.4688° E
Area -3.10 km2
Municipality– City Of Cape Town

The Royal Observatory

Observatory is the seat of The South African Astronomical Society. The name is derived from the fact that the Royal Observatory Cape of Good Hope, designed by Herbert Baker was completed here in 1897.
The building is still used today as the headquarters of The South African Astronomical Observatory. The original McClean Telescope can still be seen here.
Observatory today is notable for its trendy alternative lifestyle. There are interesting shops and restaurants. Observatory is where many students stay while studying at UCT.

Europeans were here in 1510

The earliest European history in Observatory involves a raid on a Goringhaiqua  Khoi Khoi village by Francisco de Almeida and company in 1510. Almeida was killed as were about 60 of his company.
In 1657 the Koornhoop colony was granted land from the Dutch East India Company in the area of Observatory. Fourteen free burghers settled along the Liesbeek river.  Jan Van Riebeek Who was governor of the Cape instructed that a fort “Fort Coornhoop” should be constructed to protect the settlers against the Khoikhoi.

The postal codes for Observatory are 7925 (streets) and 7935 (boxes)

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Things to see and do in Observatory:

  • At the observatory, there is a museum exhibiting various historic instruments and telescopes.
  • There are great dog walking facilities along the river and there is also a well-maintained dog park. Poop bag dispensers maintained by the OBSID are to be found here.
  • Granite skull sacred site
  • The Heart of Cape Town museum at Groot Schuur Hospital honouring the world’s first heart transplant carried out here in 1967.
  • The Cape Town science centre
  • The OBZ festival is held in November  Arts and music  info@obsarts.org.za                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Useful Numbers in Observatory

  • Police; Mowbray Police Station-021 680 9580
  • Traffic department: Gallows Hill Traffic Department-0860 103 089
  • Fire: City of Cape Town – Fire Station-021 444 0830
  • Water: 0860 103 089
  • Electricity: 0860 103 089
  • Ambulance: 10177
  • Post office; Mowbray Post Office-021 447 1205
  • Library:021 447 9017
  • Closest hospital; Groote Schuur Hospital-021 404 9111
  • Pharmacy; Lifestyle pharmacy-021 448 1037
  • SPCA: Cape of Good Hope SPCA-021 700 4140
  • Hartleyvale stadium:021 448 8652 Willow road
  • Observatory Sports Centre: 021 447 3690
  • Observatory Recreation Centre:021 447 3690
  • Schools
  • School of Hope-021 447 0334  
  • Mary Kihn School for Partially Hearing Children-021 447 0310
  • Observatory Junior School-021 447 1495
  • Mary Kihn School for Partially Hearing Children-021 447 0310
  • Museums; Cape Town Science Centre-021 300 320
  • Heart of Cape Town Museum-021 404 1967
  • South African Astronomical Observatory – 021 447-0025
  • Ratepayers association:chair@obs.org.za[/vc_column_text]

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