Ten Historical Facts you might not know about Cape Town
Perhaps you know that Table Mountain is roughly 1,000m high, that Boulders Beach has a massive colony of Jackass penguins, or that the ocean’s waves used to crash against the Castle of Good Hope’s walls. Good for you! However, Cape Town has plenty more historical facts that will let you gawk.
Did you know these ten interesting facts about the wonderful Mother city?
The Koisan are the original Capetonians
The Cape’s indigenous people are the Koisan. Koisan is the collective name for the San (bushmen) tribe who were hunter-gatherers and the Khoikhoi who lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle, grazing their herds in the valleys of the Cape.
The Cape’s first Governor
The Portuguese explorer, Bartolomeu Dias, was the first European to set eyes on what is now called Cape Town after he sailed around the Cape in the late 1400s. However, the Cape’s first governor, Jan van Riebeeck – who hailed from Holland – was the first European to settle here (in 1652). He was sent by the Dutch East India Company to establish a refreshment station for ships on their way from Europe to India.
Thanks to Jan van Riebeeck, We have Wine!
Van Riebeeck planted the first vineyard in 1655 and on 2 February 1659, the first wine was pressed in the Cape in the Wynberg/Bishopscourt area in the Southern Suburbs.
You’ve probably noticed that the Cape is a cultural melting pot…and there’s a good reason for it. Shortly after Van Riebeeck established the supply station, the Dutch East India Company brought slaves from various countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore to work on the farms that supplied the fruit and vegetables to passing ships. Hence, our delectable Cape Malay cuisine and many other unique foods and traditions.
The now Tranquil False Bay was once a Battleground
In 1795, the British invaded the Cape Peninsula from False Bay and took the Cape from the Dutch by force. In 1803, the colony was handed back to the Dutch. However, three years later in 1806, when war between the British and French broke out once more, the British permanently occupied the Cape Colony.
The Noon Gun
Perhaps you’ve heard that unexpected booming sound as you’re about to take a bite of your pastrami sarmie at lunchtime. No need to be worried, that’s just the noon gun doing its job – as it has been doing it since 1806. One of the oldest traditions in Cape Town is that old cannon at the top of Signal Hill being fired off at 12 pm every day. Originally, the noon gun announced approaching ships to let traders know it was time to haul their wares and produce down to the harbour.
Afrikaans is the most widely spoken Language in the Western Cape
We know that with 11 official languages in South Africa and with Cape Town being such a diverse city it’s hard to believe that Afrikaans is the most widely spoken tongue in the Western Cape. The second two most widely spoken languages are isiXhosa and English.
Next year (2019) the Cableway will be a 100 years old
4 October 1929, was the celebration of two years’ strenuous and scary work when the first cable car made its way to the top of Table Mountain with excited and surely somewhat nervous passengers on board. Of course, the cableway has been upgraded many times since, so no need to be anxious to ride in the revolving cable car.
Blue Flag Status
Did you know that Cape Town was the first non-European city to receive Blue Flag status which is awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe for high water quality, outstanding facilities, safety, and cleanliness of beaches?
The Cape Floral Kingdom is one like Nowhere else in the World
The Western Cape Floral Kingdom is truly something exceptional. It boasts an estimated 9,500 species and 70% of the species does not grow anywhere else in the world. The Cape Floral Region was declared a Unesco world heritage site in 2004.
The raison d’etre for My Lifestyle Collections
The Western Cape offers a rich history of architecture, beautiful fauna and flora, together with captivating views of magnificent mountain ranges and the scenic blue of the oceans. In fact, it offers the best in experience and lifestyle anywhere in the world. And we believe in making the best of what both nature and refined living can offer, including beautiful places to relax and indulge your senses, fitness and health information and lifestyle enhancement through the promotion of brilliantly refurbished antique items.
If this sounds like an intriguing combination of services, find out more about our unique lifestyle offerings at: www.mylifestylecollections.com