South Africa: Rich Africa Corner III.
Such operation caused a shortage of labour, and so, Van Riebeeck started to import the slaves from West Africa, Madagascar, Ceylon, India, Malaysia or Indonesia. Till 1807, when the slaves´ business was forbidden, the Province was imported with more than 60 thousands of slaves. Anyway, during 18th century, the Dutch hegemony started to be weaken, and, as a consequence of several wars, the colony was, in 1814, ceased to the British. Later, in 1833, the British cancelled the slavery definitely and rendered their officially help to representants of Kosa, local clan, including a right to ownership of soil. This fact caused a big dissatisfaction of Boers (the descendants of Dutch emigrants) and their collective migration into inland. At present, this operation is known as „Great Changing Residence“. As a consquence, two great provinces were established, such as: Free State and Transvaal. After arrival of British immigrants, the economy was stormy developped, thanks to the trade, especially with local wine, and the number of inhabitants increased three times as before. When Suez Channel was finished, the number of ships, navigating via Cape Town, dropped rapidly. On the other hand, the discovery of golden and diamonds´mines (finding places) in the centre of the country, enabled Cape Town to occupy again a places of the busiest port of South Africa.
At present, Cape Town is the second biggest town of South Africa, inhabitated with approx. 3,5 millions of persons. It is a capital of West Cape Province and South African legislative centre (seat of National Assembly) at the same time.
Cape Town is situated among slopes of so called Table Mountain, which belongs to five most visited locations of South Africa. Its hill, it is completely flat platform, three kilometres long and 1086 metres high. From the top, you can enjoy splended outlook towards the city, bays and endless ocean. You can reach this place by means of rope railway, being in operation since 1929. Upstairs, a National Park is spreaded, home for more than 1470 sorts of plants and animals. Most of such sorts could be found only there. As a most interesting specialities - these are Silver Leukadendron and Disa Uniflora Orchid.
In Cape Town, you can visit also South Africa Museum, Good Hope Castle, Company´s Garden Park, Government Avenue as well as another museums or galleries, following history of the city. Anyway, a special attention is given to the Castle of Good Hope, the oldest stone building of South Africa. Its construction begun in 1666 and lasted for 13 years, when it was terminated. The building served for bakery, church, small monastery, administration office or flat units. At present, you can find there Military Museum, William Fehr Museum Collection, Grain Cellar Museum, collection of ancient furniture, restaurant, offering local specialities as well as wines of the best quality.
City Hall and Grand Parade - the oldest square of Cape Town, belong also to the old city centre. The place served as the first business centre and a place of unpatiently expected liberation of Nelson Mandela. This personality was inprisoned in near Robben Island, for long 27 years. City Hall was constructed in 1905 in Neo-Renaissance style with clock-tower, 60 metres high, reminding Big Ben Clock Tower of London. Nelson Mandela made his first public appearance, when he left the prison, just on stages of City Hall.
South Africa Parliament Building is the other important house which is placed in the neighbourhood. Between Parliament Building and Botanical Garden, well known De Tuynhuys Palace of 1700 is placed, the first residence of Cape sovereigns. Now, a Presidential Office is situated there, not accessible for public. Just from this place, President Frederick William de Klerk declared the end of apartheid. On Wale Street, another jewel of Cape Town is to be found. It is St. George Cathedral - an excellent example of Victorian style, with marvellous glassed mosaics and subterranean chapel. Local inhabitants named it as „National Cathedral“, as during apartheid time period, the local door weas open for believers of all races. The figure of Jesus Christ is dominating in mosaic of central part of great green window.
Text: Maxim Kucer
Translation. ing. Jan Jonáš
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