Cape Town has - besides a number of small museums - three big museum complexes, all of them situated in or very close to Company's Garden.
The collections of contemporary South African, Dutch, British and French artists in theSouth African National Gallery, at the upper end of Company's Garden situated in a splendid Edwardian building, are outstanding. The exhibitions show paintings, sculptures, photographies, masks, puppets and textile work.
Just before the entrance to the Gardens, lies theSlave Lodge. Built in 1679 by the Dutch-East India Trading Company, this single-story building was used to accommodate about 600 slaves. At the same time it also served as a mental asylum and a prison. In the year 1810 a second story was added and from then on it housed the High Court. Today the museum is dedicated to different aspects of the history of Cape Town with its big collections of ceramics, tools, toys, textiles and jewellery.
The biggest and oldest museum is the South African Museum was founded in 1825 and in 1897, established in its present building in Queen Victoria Street. The exhibitions mainly deal with the natural history of South Africa, her biological and her cultural resources of the past and present. Particularly impressive is the anthropological section with its big realistic dioramas. The Planetarium lies in an adjacent building.
More information, opening times and links to be found on the blue INFO page.
Photo top left: Slave Lodge. Bottom left and top right: South African Nat. Gallery. Bottom right: South African Museum and Planetarium