Museums & Culture

Cape Town’s museums offer a fascinating look into its rich and complex history, culture and people.

The Slave Lodge is one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town. The many names of the building over three centuries – Slave Lodge, Government Offices Building, Old Supreme Court, and SA Cultural History Museum – reflect the long and rich history of the building.

In 1998 this museum was renamed the Slave Lodge. Under the umbrella theme, ‘From human wrongs to human rights’, exhibitions on the lower level of this museum explore the long history of slavery in South Africa.

Cape Town is home to a large number of museums. Together, they offer a rich and varied picture of life in Cape Town and in South Africa in days gone by. In fact, the city is said to have its very own Museum Mile – so visitors have the advantage of only having to stroll a short distance between Cape Town’s most popular museums and galleries.

Robben Island, the unique symbol of “the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, suffering and injustice” with a rich 500 year old multi-layered history, is visited every year by thousands of people eager to understand and honour the important aspects of South Africa’s history that the Island represents.

The Bo-Kaap Museum, situated in the historic area that became home to many Muslims and freed slaves after the abolition of slavery, showcases local Islamic culture and heritage.

The South African Jewish Museum offers visitors a truly unique experience with its bold architectural design, interactive multi-media displays and engaging accounts of South African Jewish history.