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South Africa

Cultural sightseeing in South Africa. What to visit - museums, temples, castles and palaces

Cape Town Stadium from the harbour Multicultural and diverse South Africa is a country with a rich history, about which many of its museums and historical monuments tell. District Six Museum in Cape Town is one of the most important museums in the republic. Photos, videos, household items presented here reflect the tragic history of the apartheid. In the 60s-70s, inhabitants of District Six - liberated slaves, workers, and immigrants living on the outskirts of Cape Town - were forcibly evicted. About 60 thousand people were expelled from their homes, which later were demolished. Here there is a large map of the district and interiors reconstructions. Many of the museum employees were victims of the apartheid themselves.
Like people of most countries of the world, South Africans love all kinds of holidays and widely celebrate them. Both worldwide and national holidays …
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In Pretoria, you will find the African Window Cultural History Museum containing historical documents, ancient and modern works of art, audio and video materials, rock engraving, national clothes of different cultures, archaeological finds of the Stone and Iron Ages. Here you can learn a lot about the history and modern culture of South Africa. The museum specializes in historical and contemporary art & culture exhibitions. The museum shop sells objects of African art. The South African Air Force Museum in Pretoria would be of great interest to those interested in military history and all aircraft enthusiasts. The museum presents a collection of aircraft from the 1930s to our days. Besides that, the collection includes documents and video recordings. The museum has branches in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.
Robben Island located in Table Bay shows the terrible history of the apartheid. Here, Nelson Mandela spent nearly two decades in a small cell. There were a lot of other dissidents besides him in the prison. Now it is a historical monument where guided tours are held - half an hour by boat to the island and about 4 hours on the site. Some of the guides are former prisoners. There are half-hour tours of the prison, including Mandela’s cell. The island's museum is full of photographs, videos, prisoners' belongings. Those who find the history of the island too bleak can watch penguins, seals, deer and other animals inhabiting the island instead of walking through the prison. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
The nature and geography of South Africa are very diverse. In this country, you can find any terrains and climatic zones except for tundra and polar …
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The Owl House is an amazing museum in New Bethesda highly appreciated by fans of everything unusual. This is the home of Helen Martins who turned it from an ordinary house into a charming little fairy-tale world with brightly painted walls, decorated mirrors, and statues of concrete and glass. The Camel Yard where an arch with concrete owls leads was filled with sculptures of various creatures, including mermaids and camels. This is a unique opportunity to explore the exciting world of the lonely creative person.
P1050676 Coedmore Castle in Durban is a beautiful stone castle built in 1885 that has been home to 4 generations of the Stainbank family. Furniture of the late 19th century and family portraits have been preserved in the castle. Guided tours and wedding ceremonies are organized in the castle. Zebras and antelopes frolic among green trees surrounding the building. This place must be visited by all those not indifferent to the private life of people who lived in the past centuries. Connoisseurs of wine and history are encouraged to visit the three-hundred-year-old wine estate "Meerendal" in Durbanville. Here you can dine and enjoy wine, the friendly staff knows the details about each variety of wine, there is also an art gallery here. Be sure to try South African Pinotage wine.
These spots really worth the attention of a real traveler-researcher. …
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In the Groenkloof Nature Reserve, Pretoria, you will find life-size statues of historical figures. These are bronze statues of fighters against apartheid, heroes and heroines who fought for the people's freedom. About a hundred statues frozen in motion celebrate the rights and power of man. The statues became open to the public in 2015, and since then many new ones have been added to the already installed figures. This place gives hope for a bright future not only to South Africans but all who have seen the proud figures with their own eyes.
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Fantastic City Tours and Excursions in South Africa

Reference information
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in South Africa
♥   Art museum 'Edoardo Villa Museum' Pretoria. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'Johannesburg Art Gallery' Johannesburg. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'MuseuMAfricA' Johannesburg. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum' Port Elizabeth. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'No Show Museum' Johannesburg. On the map   Photos
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas in South Africa
♥   Sacred Heart Cathedral, Aliwal North. On the map   Photos
♥   St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Kokstad. On the map   Photos
♥   Emmanuel Cathedral, Durban. On the map   Photos
♥   St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Mariannhill. On the map   Photos
♥   Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, Lourdes. On the map   Photos
♥   Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bloemfontein. On the map   Photos
♥   St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kimberley. On the map   Photos
Map of all palaces
Palaces in South Africa
♥   Palace 'Palace of Justice' . On the map   Photos
♥   Palace 'uMgungundlovu' . On the map   Photos

Extreme Guinness-type places in South Africa

Sunland Baobab Bar

From the series “The Most Extraordinary Bars and Café on the Planet”
One more bar with an extraordinary design is situated in African village Limpopo. One of the main natural features of the village is a great number of huge baobabs. And in one there was opened a bar. It was equipped just in the body of the tree by the local man. You can enter there through the tiny "door". Inside the bar appears an unpredictable spacious area. The owner used all the available area during the decoration and fitting.

The bar has a real wine cellar, a bar counter and equipped leisure zone for visitors. This zone has several tables, wooden britches and spaces, where people can dance. Some rations say that baobab, where the bar is located, is the biggest in the world. The diameter of the tree’s body is 47 meters and its’ age is about 6 thousand years.

There at once can … Read all

Vredefort Crater

From the series “Largest Meteorite Craters on Earth”
The largest impact crater of the planet is in South Africa. Vredefort is a landmark of world importance; in 2005 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The diameter of the crater is 380 km. Currently, there is the city of the same name here. The crater has formed after a collision of Earth and the asteroid that was more than 10 km in diameter as scientists assume.

This catastrophe was the largest in the history of the planet. It happened about two billion years ago. Today, we can only guess, how devastating the effects of the disaster were. Currently, the Vredefort crater is attractive not only for scientists and researchers, but also for many tourists who wish to walk in the unique area. The crater is so large that it’s impossible to see it in a full-size from the earth. … Read all
All unique sightseeing South Africa
Country maps Maps of South Africa
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Car rental in South Africa
Map of cities Cities map of South Africa

Saudi Arabia to Open 38 Hotels in Diriyah

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has ambitious plans regarding the historic city of Diriyah that is located only 15 minutes from the central part of Riyadh. Saudi Arabia plans to spend as much as US$50.6 billion on this project. A total of 38 hotel brands will launch their hotels in the city, and the first 14 were announced not long ago. Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) received many inquiries from the leading luxury hospitality brands and carefully selected the ones that were fitting the city and its heritage the most. Read this

19.01.2022

Top cultural sites of South Africa: monuments, theaters and churches

Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Castle of Good Hope is the most popular tourist attraction of Cape Town. Ancient fort, built by the Dutch in 1666, was originally fully wooden. A few years later, the actual pentagonal stone fortress was erected.
»  The main gate was built into the tower with a bell (the bell is brought from Amsterdam in 1679. This bell is still in its place.
»  The blazon of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands is still located on the arch of the main entrance.
»  For a long time, the fortress hosted a monastery, food shops, residential rooms and a prison. On the walls of the underground casemates, one can find the carved inscriptions made by prisoners centuries ago.
»  In 1936, half of the fortress was occupied by the National Military Museum. It contains a large exposition of weapons and historical facts of military conflicts in this area.
»  The second half is still occupied by the Army Headquarters of South Africa. The image of the castle is marked on the flags of several military formations and on insignia of the local military uniforms.

South African National Gallery, Cape Town

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The South African National Gallery is a unique place, which arouses great interest of tourists and guests of Cape Town. The history of the gallery begins in 1850, when the rich philanthropists Thomas Butterworth Bailey and Avraham de Schmidt created the South African Association of Fine Arts and decided to find a suitable place for organizing the exhibition.
»  The main objects of the exhibition were paintings of Dutch, British and French artists of the XVII- XIX centuries, since the city was founded by Dutch maritime navigators.
»  The gallery construction began in 1900 and only in 1930 it was officially opened. Gradually, the collection of exhibits increased due to the inclusion of paintings and sculptures of South African artists. At present, besides the permanent exhibition, the gallery hosts periodic exhibitions of contemporary artists of South Africa. Especially popular is the exhibition of ritual masks and body adornments of African people.
»  An interesting fact: all the gallery doors are decorated with the carving made by Vladimir Meierovich. Drawings on the doors depict the wanderings of Jews in the desert.
»  The gallery hosts demonstrations of costumes made by local fashion designers. In a small shop, located in the gallery, you can buy interesting gifts and souvenirs.

St. George Cathedral, Cape Town

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Cathedral of St. George was erected on the site of an old church. The building was designed by the English architect Herbert Baker for the Christian community of English people.
»  The construction lasted from 1901 to 1936 and only in 1953 the organ was installed in the cathedral, thereby finalizing the original design.
»  The interior looks impressive with its huge stained-glass windows depicting scenes of fighting with an evil.
»  Among the figures, it is easy to recognize Mahatma Gandhi, who fought for human rights and became a symbol of this struggle.
»  Some time ago, the sermon was preached by the famous African archbishop Desmond Tutu, who actively struggled against apartheid and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. Cathedral of St. George is called "nationwide", since people of both the white and black race were always accepted here, trying to extinguish the enmity and unite the people.

Culture and monuments in popular cities of South Africa

Cape Town
Tourists are recommended to make a visit to the Bo-Kaap Museum, which is located in a beautiful building of 1763. Its spacious halls have become home to collections of handicrafts, household items and numerous historical artifacts, old paintings and sculptures by the local artists. Cape Town is also the location of the oldest building in South Africa - the famous castle of Good Hope. Nowadays the house has been converted into a museum. It features a collection of old paintings and antiques. … Read more
Johannesburg
Today the gold mine has been converted into an open air museum. This historical part of the city is called Gold Reef City. During an excursion here guests will be offered to go down into a deep pit and watch the how gold is mined and processed. There is an interesting shop in the territory of the museum. Here anyone can buy ancient and modern gold coins. The city is home to a huge number of various museums and theaters. For example, Market Theatre Cultural Center is known far beyond the … Read more
Pretoria
Several age-old ports are kept in the country too, the most beautiful of them is Schanskop. It had been built at the end of 19 century and had serious damages during The Great Boer War. The modern architects have managed to restore the original form of building, recently there was unveiling of monument to Daniel Teron. This ordinary school teacher became famous as the great commander. Klapperkop fort’s history is interesting too, its territory involves a lot of symbolic monuments and … Read more
Stellenbosch
Nowadays, Stellenbosch University is one of the largest educational institutions of not only South Africa but also the Southern hemisphere in general. The main campus of the university is also the most beautiful architectural landmark in the town. The territory of the university includes a magnificent botanical garden, Botanical Garden University of Stellenbosch, that is also one of the major places of interest in Stellenbosch. In this garden, visitors will find hundreds of plant species, … Read more

South Africa map of cultural and historical sites

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