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Testament to the remarkable dinosaur digs of South Africa's Karoo region, Bernard Price Institute of Palaeontology is a treasure trove of prehistoric artifacts. A world-renowned collection of fossils is on show and some specimens are available for handling in order to get a literal feel for things as they were. Tours can be arranged and wheelchairs can be accommodated by phoning beforehand. Moving replicas of various dinosaurs are also on offer, complete with color and sounds. There is no entrance fee.
Housed in the Witwatersrand University property, The Life Sciences Museum and Biodiversity Centre claims to be the only museum of life sciences in the city of Johannesburg. Established in 2003, this museum was formed by the merger of the C. E. Moss Herbarium and Zoology museum. The C. E. Moss herbarium dates back to 1917 and boasts of a collection of 100000 botanical specimens from around the world. The Zoology museum dates back to 1922 and was founded by the Zoology Head of Department Professor Fantham. This museum was started as an attempt for the better understanding of the subject with the collections imported from Europe. Now, the zoology museum boasts of a collection of 60,000 specimens, out of which 40,000 are embryological specimens which are touted to be one of the largest embryological collections in the southern hemisphere.
Johannesburg's centrally located historic suburb, Braamfontein, welcomes tourists from all corners of the world. The Eland is an imposing work of public art, installed at the suburb's entrance. Clive van den Berg, a celebrated South African sculptor, is ascribed with creating the 7.5-meter (24.60-feet) tall statue which finds itself at the corner of Bertha and Ameshoff streets in the heart of the town. Clive's design was endorsed by a team of eminent art experts in a competition held by the Braamfontein Art Committee in the year 2005. A prominent attraction of Braamfontein, the majestic statue of the animal lends grandeur and charm to an otherwise busy spot.
Repurposed as South Africa's Constitutional Court and as a resource center for the city of Johannesburg, the Johannesburg Fort is a national monument. Constructed in the 1890s to the specifications of Colonel A.H. Schiel, a German soldier serving the South African Republic, the fort was originally an armed garrison intended to keep the peace amongst Johannesburg's early mining population. After the Anglo-Boer War the Johannesburg Fort was converted into a penal institution, although it no longer functions in this capacity. Unfortunately, the fort is not open to the public but guided tours are occasionally conducted by The Parktown and Westcliff Heritage Trust.
A favorite with children and adults alike, Johannesburg Planetarium hosts shows that educate the public about the planets beyond our realm on an ongoing basis. There are numerous displays and volumes of pertinent information throughout the building. A complete tour takes about two hours. During the week, the planetarium admits schoolchildren only from Tuesday to Friday. Weekend shows are available to individuals. Please phone to confirm running times.
This area of Johannesburg is filled with mixed themes and rife with history. A symbol of South Africa's journey to a deserved freedom, the Constitutional Court sits where the Old Fort Prison Complex used to house both political and common criminals -- names such as Robert Sobukwe, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were once trapped in these walls until its closure in 1983. This once oppressive site has been transformed into a monument of perseverance and justice. Guided and interactive tours are scheduled regularly.
Located in the center of the city, Newtown became a hub of activity from the late 20th Century when several trading offices, brick-laying companies, fisheries, breweries and banks opening in the area around this time. After an initiative by the government to clean up this city center, this area has become a trendy hub with bright lights and well-maintained buildings. Newtown is home to several restaurants, cafes and shops as well as Mary Fitzgeral Square where concerts and public performances are held on a regular basis.
This monthly market gives you the opportunity to buy the best of Johannesburg's traditional and handicraft items, from handmade felt toys and glassware to jewelery. Apart from this, there are entertaining performances and displays of visual art by various artists to keep you entertained. Numerous food and drink stalls ensure that hunger pangs don't interrupt your shopping spree. The best part of Zasekhaya Arts and Culture Market is that you can place orders with the artists and merchants to get goods made exactly the way you want them. Loads of activities and fun games to keep the children occupied are also at hand, so you can be left alone to browse through the wares on offer. Parking is available within the Bus Factory premises.