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The home of Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, St.George's Anglican Cathedral is known for its magnificent stained glass windows, which depict the lives of various Apostles, Prophets, Martyrs and Saints of the Holy Church throughout the world.. The foundations for the modern cathedral, designed by Sir Herbert Baker, were laid in 1901, although it was not until 1908 that it was finally developed. None other than the future King of England, George V, laid the foundation stone.
Built in 1905 in the Italian Renaissance style and situated in Darling Street, lies the magnificent Cape Town City Hall. Its 39 bells, the largest carillon in Southern Africa, ring out from the 61 meter high tower on special occasions, giving it the reputation of being a mini replica of London's Big Ben. The organ, with its 3165 pipes, is the pride of the Grand Hall. Sir George Martin, who constructed the organ at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, is responsible for its design. The City Hall today is home to the Cape Town Municipal Library.
Home to both bodies of the South African Legislature, the National Assembly of South Africa and the National Council of Provinces, the Houses of Parliament consists of two majestic buildings, each distinctly Western in design. Here, visitors have the opportunity to see South Africa's elected government at work, either by taking a guided tour of the buildings year-round, or attending a live session of parliament during the months of January through June. Completed in 1885, these buildings have played a key role in the country's tumultuous history, and stand as a monument to its present-day democratic ideals as well as its tragic past.
One of the most important squares in the center of town, the Grand Parade is always busting with activity. it is the nerve center and is surrounded by some of Cape Town's mot noted attractions like the Castle Of Good Hope and the Cape Town Railway Station. This square is also used as a parking spot for local market goer, and even plays host to political rallies, cultural events and local community gatherings.
Guided tours of this national monument take place at the top of the hour daily. The pentagonal building was built by Pieter Dombaer in the shape of a five-pointed star, following a construction system inspired by French military engineer Vauban. The five bastions carry the titles of the Prince of Leerdam; Oranje; Buren; Catzenellenbogen; and Nassau. The bastions housed the military, provided storerooms, prisoner cells and chambers. Come and see the formal changing of the guard at 10:00a and again at noon on weekdays.
This is the oldest part of Cape Town's harbor, dating back to 1860. Although still a working harbor, it has transformed into one of Cape Town's prime attractions. Restaurants, bars and cafes abound, and if it's shopping you are after, then its 240 stores, of all descriptions, are sure to please you. The Two Oceans Aquarium is South Africa's largest, housing 300 marine species. Even if you are in Cape Town just for a brief duration, definitely consider giving this place a visit.
Cape Town Stadium, formally known as Green Point Stadium, has a capacity to hold around 55,000 people. This beautiful stadium plays host to a multitude of sporting and cultural events and can accommodate fans in a number of seating arrangements. The stadium is well-equipped to host international soccer games, including the FIFA World Cup.
If you look at the Table Mountain from across the bay and use a bit of imagination, you'll see that the peak to its right looks like a lion's head, connected by a body of land to a smaller conical peak, the lion's rump (known as Signal Hill). Signal Hill derived its name from its previous function as a semaphore post for communication with ships at sea. It is also home to the Noon Gun, a cannon that is still fired daily. Below the cannon is a tearoom with fantastic views and delicious traditional Cape Malay cuisine. The road to the 350-meter summit offers awesome views over both cityscape and seascapes. There is a car park and picnic site at the top and you can take a short walk along the ridge. A great venue to watch the sun sink into the Atlantic and then enjoy a slow drive back with the lights of the city spread out below. Take care at night, as muggings have taken place here.
Located at Green Point Common on the on the KwaZulu-Natal coast, the Green Point lighthouse opened in 1824 and is the oldest lighthouse in South Africa. A national monument since 1973, its red and white diagonal striped form is unmistakable, as is its guiding light, which has a range of almost 23 kilometers/14 miles.
The peak to the right of Table Mountain (as seen from the city) is known as Lion's Head. The path up to the 669-meter summit spirals its way through a fantastic diversity of indigenous fynbos including the beautiful Silver Tree. There are plenty of opportunities to catch your breath while admiring the great views. Towards the top there is a bit of a climb with a series of chains secured into the rocks to help you up the steepest sections. The final scramble is well rewarded with breath-taking panoramic views of Table Mountain, the city, the Atlantic coastline, Robben Island and the Twelve Apostles (a series of twelve peaks) stretching down the peninsula. This is a particularly popular hike on the eve of a full moon when small groups gather on the summit to watch the sunset and the moon rise.
This national monument was built in memory of Cecil John Rhodes, the former Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, and is situated on the eastern slopes of Devil's Peak on a portion of land Rhodes set aside to preserve the beauty of the mountain. The steep steps of the neo-classical granite memorial offer sweeping views over the Cape Flats, stretching out to distant northern mountain ranges. Alongside the memorial is a large reserve for herds of eland, zebra and antelope. For those who want to sit and take in the view, there is a tearoom housed in an old stone cottage with a beautiful garden. If you fancy something sweet, try their wickedly tasty lemon meringue pie. If you feel a bit more energetic, this is also a popular starting point for hikes.
This majestic sandstone mountain is undoubtedly Cape Town's most well known and well loved landmark. Its flat "table top" stretches for three kilometers and is flanked by Devil's Peak on one side and Lion's Head on the other. When a south-easterly wind blows, the top is obscured by a large white tablecloth of cloud that pours over its steep northern face. At other times when the skies are cloudless, the flat topography of the mountain can be viewed in its best form, glinting proudly against the morning sun. The Table Mountain Reserve is home to an impressive range of indigenous flora, including many endemic species, and is also home to the incredibly rare Ghost Frog, an amphibian only spotted in South Africa's mountain streams. Raptors like jackal buzzards, African harrier-hawks and rock kestrels can be seen circling the skies above the mountain. The mountain is a treat for hikers, climbers and amblers with over 550 well-established paths along its magnificent stretch. The table's Aerial Cableway gives a single rotation on the five-minute ascent/descent, giving passengers a sweeping view of the gorgeous scenery below.