The Mother City is a beautiful place and has always been. Granted, in times past it was a little easier to see the mountains and a little less crowded on the beach, but Cape Town will always hold the top spot in the hearts of all Capetonians.

While we still appreciate our city’s beauty as it is today, there’s no harm in doing a little reminiscing and looking back over scenes come and gone and the memories different places hold.

1. Blouberg – 1955

Blouberg was originally a fishing village and holiday resort for farmers who travelled there from inland.

Most of the original cottages of Bloubergstrand were built alongside the track that later became Stadler Road.

2. The Old Mutual Building during construction – 1930s

When the Old Mutual Building officially opened in the 1940s it was such big news that the local paper ran a 16-page article on it.

It was once Africa’s tallest building and has since been used for movies sets and now apartments.

3. The Castle of Good Hope 

When the Dutch first settled in the Cape they erected a fortress in Table Valley right near the beach.

Today this fortress is called the Castle of Good Hope on Adderley Street and the beach is not as close by as it used to be.

It is unknown when this particular early photograph was taken.

4. Table Mountain Aerial Cable Way – 1947

Before the cable way was established in 1929, there was only one way up Table Mountain and that was by foot.

Since its inception, the cable way has changed a lot over the years but has managed to carry 28-million people to the summit of the mountain since.

5. Duncan Dock – Cape Town Harbour – 1970

Duncan Dock was completed in 1945 and was built to help accommodate visits from bigger vessels.

This seaside hub is home to multi-purpose and fruit terminals as well as the Sturrock Dry Dock, repair quay and tanker basin.

6. Adderley Street – 1881

Adderley street used to be known as the Heerengracht, it was Cape Town’s Main Street and ran from the foreshore to Government Avenue.

The name change took place in 1850 and the busy and bustling street became Adderley as we know it today.

7. The University of Cape Town – 1947

Established in 1829 as the South African College, the University of Cape Town is Africa’s oldest university.

Originally UCT only allowed male students to attend, but women began attending the institution in 1887.

8. Fir Avenue, Camps Bay – 1881

Camps Bay was originally known as the Baai von Kamptz after a Dutch sailor by the name of Friedrich von Kamptz.

Back in the day it was a much more natural and tree-lined area.

9. The Cape Peninsula – 1947

The Cape Peninsula is a place of history and legends that stretch back long before we started calling the Mother City home.

It is a stunning destination that seems to only get more beautiful with age and we can’t help but love it, even in sepia tones.

Join the Cape Town Down Memory Lane for more amazing pictures from Cape Town’s past.


Pictures: Cape Town Down Memory Lane/Martin Greshoff/Alicia Fowler Myburgh/Hilton Teper/Christopher Murphy/Anton Raath

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