Beautiful Cape Town City South Africa in photos

A city of contrasts

Cape Town, where I am writing this, is a city of contrasts - old and new, rich and poor, and many other contrasts besides.

The area around the city centre is full of interesting images and historical buildings, and also vibrant with culture and colour.

Not far from the Central Business District are the Company's Gardens, founded by first white colonists under the leadership of Jan van Riebeeck who, in 1652, started a refreshment station for the ships of the Dutch East India Company. The Gardens have a rich heritage and are surrounded by a wealth of historical buildings, from the stately Parliament buildings to the well-known St George's Cathedral, all of them overshadowed by the brooding hulk of Table Mountain, which is almost always visible from the city centre and the Gardens.


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A Cape Town City crest on a bollard at the entrance to Parliament LaneThe steps of St George's Cathedral, scene of many anti-apartheid demonstrations duing the 70s and 80s.Tuynhuis (literally Garden House) opposite the Comapany's Gardens, residence of the President when in Cape Town
A Cape Town City crest on a bollard at the entrance to Parliament Lane
A Cape Town City crest on a bollard at the entrance to Parliament Lane
The steps of St George's Cathedral, scene of many anti-apartheid demonstrations duing the 70s and 80s.
The steps of St George's Cathedral, scene of many anti-apartheid demonstrations duing the 70s and 80s.
Tuynhuis (literally Garden House) opposite the Comapany's Gardens, residence of the President when in Cape Town
Tuynhuis (literally Garden House) opposite the Comapany's Gardens, residence of the President when in Cape Town

Walking in the different rhythms of the city

Walking in the city is to walk in a vibrant today within touching distance of a time many yesterdays ago. There is the old Slave House, St George's Cathedral opposite it, and the Houses of Parliament next door. As I was walking up the vibrant and colourful St George's Mall, which was St George's Street when I was a young boy, I came across a group of Xhosa drummers and dancers singing a song made famous in the days of the destruction of Sophiatown by the then apartheid government in the late 1950s, a song with a strange, heady, mix of a happy, infectious rhythm and words of biting sarcasm, a song called "Meadowlands", which ironically became quite a hit with whites in those now far-off days.

And then around the corner in Greenmarket Square was a group of Cape Carnival musicians in their colourful outfits playing some of their own wonderful music, usually only heard at the time of the New Year's parades.

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Drummers and dancers enliven the city centreSinging and dancing with incredible energyThe joyous sounds of the "Klopse" in Greenmarket SquareTypical faces of the Cape Carnival
Drummers and dancers enliven the city centre
Drummers and dancers enliven the city centre
Singing and dancing with incredible energy
Singing and dancing with incredible energy
The joyous sounds of the "Klopse" in Greenmarket Square
The joyous sounds of the "Klopse" in Greenmarket Square
Typical faces of the Cape Carnival
Typical faces of the Cape Carnival
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Front of St George's CathedralHouses of Parliament with Queen Victoria statueStrollers on one of the many lovely paths in the GardensThe lawns are for lovers too!The sundial in the GardensCecil John Rhodes proclaiming that "your hinterland is there!"The South African Museum, which was founded in 1825 and houses some of the greatest examples of San rock art and many other interesting exhibitsStatue of former Prime Minister, philosopher and statesman Jan Christian Smuts, in front of the South African National GalleryThe South African National Gallery, which was started in 1872. The Gallery houses a large collection of artworks dating from the 17th Century to contemporary South African works, including beadwork and sculpturesThe facade of the South African Jewish Museum. The foundation stone was laid in 1904. It now houses the Holocaust Centre
Front of St George's Cathedral
Front of St George's Cathedral
Houses of Parliament with Queen Victoria statue
Houses of Parliament with Queen Victoria statue
Strollers on one of the many lovely paths in the Gardens
Strollers on one of the many lovely paths in the Gardens
The lawns are for lovers too!
The lawns are for lovers too!
The sundial in the Gardens
The sundial in the Gardens
Cecil John Rhodes proclaiming that "your hinterland is there!"
Cecil John Rhodes proclaiming that "your hinterland is there!"
The South African Museum, which was founded in 1825 and houses some of the greatest examples of San rock art and many other interesting exhibits
The South African Museum, which was founded in 1825 and houses some of the greatest examples of San rock art and many other interesting exhibits
Statue of former Prime Minister, philosopher and statesman Jan Christian Smuts, in front of the South African National Gallery
Statue of former Prime Minister, philosopher and statesman Jan Christian Smuts, in front of the South African National Gallery
The South African National Gallery, which was started in 1872. The Gallery houses a large collection of artworks dating from the 17th Century to contemporary South African works, including beadwork and sculptures
The South African National Gallery, which was started in 1872. The Gallery houses a large collection of artworks dating from the 17th Century to contemporary South African works, including beadwork and sculptures
The facade of the South African Jewish Museum. The foundation stone was laid in 1904. It now houses the Holocaust Centre
The facade of the South African Jewish Museum. The foundation stone was laid in 1904. It now houses the Holocaust Centre

The Avenue

At the top of Cape Town's main street, Adderley Street, is the Avenue which divides Parliament and other buildings from the old Company's Gardens. With St George's Cathedral on one corner. the Avenue, more properly known as "Government Avenue", stretches all the way to Orange Street, past the South African National Library, De Tuynhuis, the South African Museum, the Jewish Museum and Holocaust Centre and the National Gallery.

Inside the Company's Gardens can be found many interesting plants and beautiful flowers, both indigenous and exotic, as well as some interesting momuments and statues, including one of arch-imperialist Cecil John Rhodes.


Back to Adderley Street

Coming back down the Avenue one comes to the top of Adderley Street again, where the old Slave Lodge, which is now a Cultural History Museum, stands and also the Mother Church of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa is, the church known as the Grootte Kerk (Big Church).

Nestled next to this church is a small alley with an open-air cafe.

Further down Adderley Street is a large old bank building and some traditional flower sellers, who have plied their trade in that spot for decades, adding a wonderful, elivening scent to the air and vibrant colours to the street.

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The front of the Slave Lodge at the top of Adderley Street. This building, one of the oldest in Cape Town (built in 1679), has a grim history but a bright present as the home to the South African Cultural History MuseumA reminder of the grim past of the building housing the Cultural History MuseumThe Grootte Kerk in Adderley Street. The foundation stone of the building was laid by the then Governor of the Cape Colony Simon van der Stel. He was Governor from 1699 to 1707.In front of the Grootte Kerk stands a statue of famed South African churchman Dr Andrew Murray (who was godfather to my grandfather, the Rev Andrew Murray McGregor)The flower sellers of Adderley Street, a much loved feature.
The front of the Slave Lodge at the top of Adderley Street. This building, one of the oldest in Cape Town (built in 1679), has a grim history but a bright present as the home to the South African Cultural History Museum
The front of the Slave Lodge at the top of Adderley Street. This building, one of the oldest in Cape Town (built in 1679), has a grim history but a bright present as the home to the South African Cultural History Museum
A reminder of the grim past of the building housing the Cultural History Museum
A reminder of the grim past of the building housing the Cultural History Museum
The Grootte Kerk in Adderley Street. The foundation stone of the building was laid by the then Governor of the Cape Colony Simon van der Stel. He was Governor from 1699 to 1707.
The Grootte Kerk in Adderley Street. The foundation stone of the building was laid by the then Governor of the Cape Colony Simon van der Stel. He was Governor from 1699 to 1707.
In front of the Grootte Kerk stands a statue of famed South African churchman Dr Andrew Murray (who was godfather to my grandfather, the Rev Andrew Murray McGregor)
In front of the Grootte Kerk stands a statue of famed South African churchman Dr Andrew Murray (who was godfather to my grandfather, the Rev Andrew Murray McGregor)
The flower sellers of Adderley Street, a much loved feature.
The flower sellers of Adderley Street, a much loved feature.

Copyright notice

The text and all images on this page, unless otherwise indicated, are by Tony McGregor who hereby asserts his copyright on the material. Should you wish to use any of the text or images feel free to do so with proper attribution and, if possible, a link back to this page. Thank you.

© Tony McGregor 2010

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Comments 39 comments

Gillsie profile image

Gillsie 7 years ago from Oregon

Beautiful.

Such rich culture and history, well preserved and CLEAN too!

Makes me wish I could visit.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 7 years ago from South Africa Author

We are truly blessed!

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

Love and peace,

Tony


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Wow -- one of the things my aunt left me when she died was a shoe box with her photos and diaries of her visit to South Africa. I'll have to dig it out of storage, and I'll be able to use the great photos here to illustrate her adventures. Great tour, thanks!


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

What a lovely, clean city! Thank you for sharing your photos! :D


Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

These are beautiful photos I enjoyed the visit to Cape Town.


The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 7 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

It is a beautiful city, Tony. Thank's for letting us see it as you do.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Thanks to you all for your comments. This city is wonderful and, except that I miss my family, I would love to stay here longer, but got to get back to Pretoria on Friday!

Teresa - I would love to see the photos you aunt left you.

Thanks again to you all

Love and peace

Tony


FreezepopMorality profile image

FreezepopMorality 7 years ago

I like it. Especially the slave lodge picture. It's like going to formally, (or currently) communist countries and running into propaganda and other reminders of pasts that were completely different from presents that we know, or maybe remember. It's horrible, but fascinating.


Peter Kirstein 7 years ago

Good one Tony. Lovely pix, Cape Town truly is a beautiful city seeped in the later history of S A.


Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

I like all photos

Beautiful.

Such rich culture and history


RKHenry profile image

RKHenry 7 years ago from Your neighborhood museum

Wow, I speechless. Great Hub! I love the pictures. I hope to visit someday. Wow!


Melody Lagrimas profile image

Melody Lagrimas 7 years ago from Philippines

Oh, I had a wonderful tour with this hub, thanks a lot.


lyla profile image

lyla 7 years ago from India

Wow..amazing!Thanks for sharing!:)


Property-Invest profile image

Property-Invest 7 years ago from London

Hey Tony

A really cool hub; very Lekker!


Property-Invest profile image

Property-Invest 7 years ago from London

Do they still have those amazing jazz concerts at Kirstenbosch gardens? I really miss those!


Nico 7 years ago

well Nice pics


DR NTAMBI HERBALIST HEALER 7 years ago

NICE PICTURES

WELL FOR ANY HELP CONTACT

AFRICAS TRADITINAL HERBALIST

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RAMESH PATEL 7 years ago

VERY NICE PHOTO AND I LIKE VERY MUCH.


SXP profile image

SXP 6 years ago from South Africa

Capetown does seem a lot better looking than some other South African cities and towns. Maybe it is because the locals know that this is critical in order to make sure tourists keep visiting. It's just such a pity that these photo's only show the good side of Capetown and not the rarely seen bad areas as well. Still, I loved seeing these buildings again.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

I've never been to South Africa, but you sure make it sound fascinating. The pics were beautiful. Thanks for such and interesting hub


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

very nice share of what to see in the place, love all the pics and the flowers, white, beautiful,Thnaks tonymac, Maita


flurish profile image

flurish 6 years ago

Wow! such a wonderful place.

I wish to visit at least once. :)


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa Author

SXP, Dim, Maita and Flurish - thanks so much for visiting and commenting. I appreciate it very much.

Yes Cape Town is a wonderful city and well worth a visit. There is so much to see and do there!

Love and peace

Tony


greensnob profile image

greensnob 6 years ago

Mr. Tony, I love this hub! Cape Town as you have showed it, has a similar feel to New Orleans, the feel, the music in the streets, vendors and remnants of a past that has made our present so vibrant. South Africa and America have this in common. New Orlean's past is its present. I share your sentiments about equality and the peace it brings.


marijanareynders profile image

marijanareynders 6 years ago from Toodyay, Western Australia

What superb writing and exquisite photographs. You transported me back to my favorite city, Cape Town, truly a stunning place, with your moving writing. Can't wait to read your other hubs.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Greensnob - I think there is a definite similarity, though I've never been to New Orleans.

Marijana - Cape Town is by far my favourite place in the world also. Don't tell anyone, but I think it really is the centre of the universe!

Thanks to you both for the visit, the read and the comments, all of which are truly and deeply appreciated.

Love and peace

Tony


wrenfrost56 profile image

wrenfrost56 6 years ago from U.K.

Great images tony, I really enjoyed your descriptions and detail. The bright colours, the sounds, the snippets of history, the new mixed with the old, cape town sure seems like an interesting place. :)


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa Author

It sure is, Wrenfrost, it sure is! I'll be back there in December so look out for more! Intend to go up the mountain in the new cableway this time. That should provide many photo ops!

Love and peace

Tony


all parks 6 years ago

please show the all park in cape town.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa Author

all parks - I'll be there in December and will do my best to visit as many of the parks as possible.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

I love you Bud! This is another GREAT! I loved those videos. The small child dancing is so wonderful! I went ahead and punched up the "Xhosa Traditional Dance Group" as well! I love the smooth jazz at the end too. Mellow us out! Great hub Tony!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Brotherman Micky - I love you too! Thanks for a great comment and I'm very glad that you enjoyed the vids and the pix!

Love and peace

Tony


kraji profile image

kraji 5 years ago from Slovenia

Looks very interesting, hope to visit it some day and national parks in South Africa


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Kraji - Cape Town is definitely worth a visit, as are the game parks here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Wish I could see this in person someday...but in the meantime so happy to be able to see it through your pictures and descriptions. I agree with Micky Dee in that the last video has such mellow music. Nice! Thanks!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Peggy - in two day's time I'll be there again, though in a time of some sadness due to mother-in-law's passing. But I will still get around the lovely city with camera in hand again as much as possible.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Love and peace

Tony


Aman 4 years ago

Nice


celeb 4 years ago

awesome


jeanihess profile image

jeanihess 4 years ago from Cape Town South Africa

Lovely:)

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