The City of Cape Town is steeped in history dating back to 1488 or 1652 depending on who you ask, it’s also one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. The Mother City is home to a rich and varied heritage, a melting pot of different cultures all of which add to what makes Cape Town as remarkable a city as it is.
Cape Town is a city that holds as many interesting and fun facts as it is beautiful. Here are some interesting facts about Cape Town that you may or may not have known, either way, enjoy the read:
Table Mountain – Cape Town’s star:
Table Mountain is the only natural site on the planet to have a constellation of stars named after it. The constellation is called “Mensa”, which means ‘table’ in Latin and is one of twelve constellations that was drawn up in the 18th century by French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille out of dim Southern Hemisphere stars in honour of Table Mountain.
The grand old lady:
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is 109 years old this year. Founded in 1913, established to preserve South Africa’s unique flora and indigenous plants. The Garden grows only indigenous South African Plants and is one of only six floral kingdoms in the world and the only one that occurs entirely in one country.
The best of both oceans:
Cape Town is the only city in the world to be positioned between two oceans. Cape Town is uniquely situated at the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic oceans and although Cape Agulhas marks the geographic divide between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the boundary between the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and the cold Atlantic migrates seasonally between Cape Agulhas and Cape Point.
A mecca for Cape Town tourism:
The V&A Waterfront welcomes more than 24 million people annually and holds the records for the most-visited destination and the highest rate of foreign tourists of any attraction in the country. The Waterfront was named after Prince Alfred and his mother, Queen Victoria. The Waterfront and surrounding area had electricity 10 years before the rest of Cape Town.
The Two Oceans Aquarium has been around for 27 years:
The award-winning Two Oceans aquarium is home to over 8 000 creatures and over 200 species of marine life. There’s so much to see it’s easy to lose yourself in the aquarium’s stunning displays.
Cape Town holds a symbol of the Cold War:
Cape Town is the only city in Africa that is home to a segment of the Berlin Wall. A piece of the Berlin Wall was donated to former President Nelson Mandela in 1996 as a symbol of peace when he visited Germany on a state visit. He received it as a special gift from the City of Berlin before the end of his tenure as president of South Africa. It can be found in St Georges Mall, Cape Town.
Cape Town has underground tunnels:
Hidden beneath the streets of Cape Town are the forgotten rivers and tunnels that were once open canals that transported millions of litres of fresh spring water from Table Mountain directly out into the sea to supply fresh water to passing ships. The now abandoned and unutilized underground tunnels of Cape Town have become a popular ‘city’ tour among the locals and tourists alike.
Adderley Street was made from wooden blocks:
Adderley Street was originally made entirely from wooden blocks in an attempt to drown out the noise from countless wagons, carts and horse hooves. Construction workers have found remnants of these wooden blocks which can still be found at the upper end of Adderley Street.
Longest wine route:
Just outside of Cape Town, the scenic Route 62 is widely known to be the longest wine route in the world. It runs for 850 kilometres and ends in Port Elizabeth. Its also been named the world’s best road trip destination by CNN Travel.
Cape Town is home to the largest art museum:
The Museum of Contemporary Art Africa – Zeitz MOCAA is the world’s largest museum. The museum showcases African Art and its diaspora. Covering 6,000 square meters over nine floors, with 100 gallery spaces.
Picture: Cape Point / Facebook