South Africa’s oldest colonial building will mark the beginning of the Open Streets Main Road route from the CBD to Observatory.
The VOC fort, built in 1666, housed both master and slave, and has been a venue for the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of our history. It was a place of extreme pain and exclusivity for many decades but is now open to the public 363 days a year to trace their roots.
Doreen Hendricks, tourism and marketing manager for the Castle Control Board says: “Today, it is a symbol of memory, healing, learning, restitution, restoration, freedom from oppression, inclusion, recognition, respect, reconciliation, reconstruction and reimagination.”
On 1 October, the day of Open Streets Main Road, it will be open from 09h00 till 17h00. You can enter the Castle for R50 per adult and R25 per child, which includes a guided tour. Additionally, look out for special offer vouchers handed out on the day. You can use these on the day or at any convenient time in the future. Also available on the route are a local creative market, food, drinks and some interesting characters you will want to meet!
Doreen continues: “The Castle is the centre of South Africans’ shared heritage. We encourage everybody to explore it and engage in the difficult discussions about our past. Open Streets aims to open the streets of Cape Town to all its residents in order for them to take ownership of their city, to feel a part of something bigger. The Castle aims to do exactly that.”
Open Streets Main Road involves a near-5km road closure along one of Cape Town’s busiest thoroughfares. It’s the biggest Open Streets in Cape Town to date.
Closed to motorised vehicles, the section of the Main Road between the Castle and the Cape Town Science Centre will become an open space for non-motorised transport users to explore in safety.
Indeed, there will be many short journeys down memory lane people can embark on. Whether on a bicycle, a skateboard, in a wheelchair or by foot, the opportunity to discover this historic stretch of Cape Town is limitless. Open Streets is free and we encourage everyone to take part!
Image credit: © Igmar Grewa/ Wikimedia Commons