9. Cape Town Tourist Attractions : Martin Melck House
Martin Melck House is one of the oldest colonial homes in South Africa named after its first owner. Its history is intimately entwined with that of Cape Town itself. It is one of the best Cape Town tourist attractions.
In 1764 Martin Melck, a Prussian mercenary in the service of the Dutch East India company, retired and was granted the vacant lot adjoining the one on which the museum stands. A religious man and a Lutheran, he proposed the construction of a Lutheran Church, employing the renowned French architect Louise Thibault to design the parsonage. The German woodcarver Anton Anrieth was commissioned to ornament the façade and the interior.
The resulting neo-classical styled building is one of the finest remaining specimens of old Cape Town domestic architecture. Martin Melck house stands together with the Lutheran Church and Kosterhuis, which houses the Netherlands Embassy, as a unique historical remnant on Strand Street in the centre of modern Cape Town.
The conversion of the building into the Gold of Africa Museum, which until recently exhibited a collection of African gold, has seen this historical monument take its place in the cultural fabric of the city and country.
The exhibition on the life and times of Nelson Mandela now installed in the museum, adds a new and dynamic chapter to Martin Melck House. The world renowned Mannenberg’s Jazz Café can now be found at the Camissa Courtyard in Martin Melck House. Camissa means ‘Place of Sweet Water’ and was the original Khoi name for the city of Cape Town. Mannenberg’s at the Camissa Courtyard, provides a world-class, authentic musical and culinary experience that will beguile patrons, reclaiming the cultural, spiritual and emotional relationship between the indigenous Khoi and the land.
10. Cape Town Tourist Attractions : City Hall and Grand Parade
City Hall and Grand Parade is one of the best Cape Town tourist attractions. Cape Town’s City Hall was built in 1905 in Italian Renaissance style, and is one of the last Victorian-style sandstone structures in the Mother City. Despite showing its age, Cape Town’s iconic City Hall continues to be sought out by urban explorers.
Upon entering, beautiful mosaic floors lead to a marble staircase, which guides visitors upwards to vintage stained glass and a 3 165-pipe organ. Its classical, Darling Street facade, and an impressive half-size replica of London’s Big Ben, are also a source of fascination to visitors, particularly those who have been to London.
It was from the balcony of the City Hall that Nelson Mandela addressed the world, after spending 27 years in prison. On that day in 1990, 250 000 people streamed to the Grand Parade to celebrate the release of the country’s future president. The City Hall is home to the world-renowned Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, which regularly performs concerts here.
Cape Town’s Grand Parade, in front of the City Hall, was the setting for the Cape Town FIFA Fan Fest during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa. As many as 25 000 people were comfortably able to watch live matches on a big screen for the duration of the World Cup. The Castle of Good Hope, South Africa’s oldest building, is right across the road from the Grand Parade. Thus a brief information about information about 10 Best Cape Town tourist attractions, may be useful.