The city of Cape Town also known as the “Fairest Cape in the circumference of the World” is one of the most important and captivating cities in South Africa. It is steadily developing and increasing in population that has reached over 3.74 million residents as at 2011. The city is located on the coast of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Shore of Table Bay. Cape Town has captivated a lot of tourists with its immense beauty thereby becoming one of the top tourist destinations in South Africa.
The City of Cape Town was founded all the way back in 1652 by a man named Jan Van Riebeeck. This man was travelling with a Dutch East Indian Company that was looking for the half-way point for people looking to travel to the Eastern part of the world. The name Cape Town came from Bartolomeu Dias who named the town after the cape of storms. This was due to the strong wind and rain that he experienced while staying in the town.
The town was later renamed to mean Cape of Good Hope to impress the Portuguese king. This name was used to imply that the city would provide a short cut to the east and would attract world travelers. The city was settled in first by the English and Dutch settlers in the 19th century. Until the Witwatersrand Gold Rush and the development of Johannesburg, Cape Town was the largest city in South Africa. Today, it is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, reflecting its role as a major destination for immigrants and expatriates to South Africa. The city was named the World Design Capital for 2014 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.
The people that live in Cape Town today are very diverse. There are many different cultures, racial groups, and nationalities found in this city. In this area, many of the people work in manufacturing companies and it is considered to be the economic center of South Africa. This city also has the main harbor and airport in the Western Cape of Africa. The National Parliament is not far from this point.
The city of Cape Town is home to many landmarks that include the Table Mountains and Cape Point. These attractions as well as the entertainment in the city makes this area the busiest tourist destination in all of South Africa. The city is also home to many sports housing 2 stadiums – the Cape Town stadium and Newlands. The Red Bull Big Wave Africa surfing contest is held here as well as the annual Cape Town Minstrel Carnival which is the largest medieval festival that is held once a year. For those that like to shop, this town is considered to be the one of the biggest shopping corridor in the world. There is so much to see and do in Cape Town, it is hard to get everything done in just one visit.
Despite the fact that it is in South Africa, Cape Town is home to many different cultures and nationalities. There are many interesting facts about Cape Town that so many people do not know, and this article highlights some of them.
The City of Cape Town: More Fascinating Facts & Figures
- In 1815, The City of Cape Town became the capital of the Cape Colony and today the city is the legislative capital of South Africa. It’s also the capital of the Western Cape province and the seat of the South African National Parliament.
- The Cape Town Stadium was built ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the stadium hosted eight soccer matches during the tournament.
- The city’s motto is “Spes Bona”, which is Latin for “good hope”
- The Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town is the oldest building in South Africa. The building was built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India company.
- The city of Cape Town is the most popular international tourist destination in Africa, even ahead of Cairo, this is partly because of the good weather conditions, natural setting, and well-developed infrastructure it offers.
- There are 2 Cape Town restaurants among the top 50 restaurants of the world. La Colombe restaurant in Constantia, Cape Town, was voted the 12th best and Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek came in at 31
- In 1967, the world’s first heart transplant was performed by Dr Christiaan Barnard in the city of Cape Town
- Cape Town is sometimes called the “Tavern of the seas”.
- The City of Cape Town was voted Favourite Foreign City by the UK Telegraph in 2004
- Cape Town is a cosmopolitan city comprising of many different cultures and nationalities. It has three offcial languages: Afrikaans
- The Cape Town – Johannesburg flight route is one of the ten busiest routes in the world.
- Cape Town was home to many of anti apartheid movement leaders during the apartheid days. Robben Island, somewhere around 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) from the city, was where many of these anti apartheid leaders were imprisoned. Nelson Mandela gave a speech at the Cape Town City Hall on February 11, 1990 following his release from prison.