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Best Museums in Cape Town

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Slave Lodge

The Slave Lodge, dating back to 1679, is one of the oldest structures in Cape Town. It originally housed slaves of the Dutch East India Company, criminals, and the mentally disturbed. Over the years its function changed, as did its exterior. Today it is the flagship of the six South African Cultural History Museum sites, housing collections of ceramics, toys, tools, silver and textiles, as well as artifacts from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the Near and Far East. This museum primarily focuses on the history of slavery in Cape Town. Other exhibits focus on the history of the Cape in general.

Cape Town, South Africa
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The Springbok Experience

The Springbok Experience is located on Portswood Road in Cape Town, South Africa. The museum uses rugby as a means to relate the country’s history. A characteristic feature of the museum is that it is highly interactive. It partakes its rich knowledge filled records to its patrons in new and fun ways: like audio-visual displays and kicking and fitness games for guests of all ages. The museum shop sells replicas of trophies and journeys that hold much importance in their displays.

Cape Town, South Africa
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District 6 Museum

Originally founded in 1994 as a space where ex-residents could gather and meet, the District 6 Museum stands as a way to memorialize the tumultuous history of the district's residents. As part of the South African apartheid, more than 60,000 native residents were relocated to an area known as the Cape Flats. Today, the museum offers exhibitions depicting the history of this ward. Tours guided by an ex-resident of District 6 are available by calling in advance, or visitors can tour the streets on their own. A bookstore and coffee shop are also located on-site.

Cape Town, South Africa
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South African Planetarium

A visit to one of the shows held at the domed theater inside the building of South African Museum would take you through a celestial journey of the wonder that is the universe. It is equipped with projectors and the Minolta star machine to recreate the clear night sky so as to easily and effectively educate the audience about various phenomena of astronomy and geology. Perfect place for educational trips, call or visit their website for group discounts and more.

Cape Town, South Africa
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Iziko South African Museum

The South African Museum is situated at the top of Queen Victoria Street within the peaceful Company's Gardens. The museum exhibits the largest collection of meteorites in the country, and incredible life-like reproductions of animals, of which fossilized remains were discovered in the Karoo semi-desert. There is also a whale skeleton, some members of the aquatic world, and other specimen of flora. Adjoining the museum is the Planetarium, whose projectors replicate the heavens and illuminate the constellations over a 26,000 year time span. Shows and talks are given regularly.

Cape Town, South Africa
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Jewish Museum

The South African Jewish Museum can be found on the Bouquet Street of Cape Town in South Africa. It was founded by Mendel Kaplan and declared open by Nelson Mandela in 2000. The Museum holds records of the entire Jewish history in South Africa, tracing its roots back to Libya. It is funded by the Kaplan Kushlick Foundation, and for a recent addition to the world of museums, its high-tech displays hold a vast sea of knowledge.

Cape Town, South Africa
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Cape Town Holocaust Centre

In the year 1999, The Cape Town Holocaust Centre was established. It is the site for remembering and learning from the old times. It honors the over six million Jews that were victims of the Holocaust and Nazi terror. It spreads knowledge on consequences of racism, discrimination and prejudices while promoting the importance of valuing human rights.

Cape Town, South Africa
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Robben Island

Between the 17th and 20th Centuries, Robben Island was synonymous with isolation, variously used as a prison, leper colony and asylum. Through the course of its history, this small island off the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, South Africa was also employed as a post office, military outpost and port for ships visiting Table Bay. However, the island is most renowned as the site of the maximum security prison for political prisoners opened in 1961 to detain the leaders of the anti-apartheid revolution. The most notable of the island's inmates is Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, who spent 18 years of his 27-year sentence at Robben Island. Other former inmates include Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma, both of whom went on to be elected presidents of the country following the fall of apartheid in 1990. Robben Island is now a museum that preserves the legacy of the island; a symbol of the triumph of democracy over racism, inequality and discrimination. Besides the imposing edifice of the maximum security prison, the island also encompasses the crumbling ruins of the military fort, the lepers’ church, a small lighthouse and the tomb of Hadije Kramat - a place of pilgrimage. A World Heritage Site, Robben Island attracts thousands of visitors each year. Guided tours are led by former inmates who offer a rare glimpse into the lives of those incarcerated at Robben Island.

Cape Town, South Africa
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