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date: 18 November 2019

Cape Townlocked

  • Rodney Harber

Extract

South African city, legislative capital of the Republic and capital of Cape Province. It is situated at the tip of the continent on Table Bay below the broad plateau of Table Mountain. Cape Town (metropolitan population c. two million) is the second largest city in South Africa and is an important port and rail terminal. It was the first settlement founded by Europeans in Southern Africa and retains a rich heritage of its colonial architecture.

A replenishment station for the Dutch East India Company was established at Table Bay in 1652 by Jan van Riebeeck; it consisted of a large market garden protected by a fort, later the Castle of Good Hope (1666–77), built in a star-shaped plan. The outpost grew slowly; early buildings made use of readily available local materials and were influenced by Dutch domestic architecture, leading to the development of the Cape Dutch style (...

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