Cape Town Waterfront – The Historical Significance

The Historic Clock Tower is located close to the positioning of the unique Bertie’s Touchdown Restaurant, the Victorian Gothic-style Clock Tower has all the time been an icon of the outdated docks and has turn out to be an essential point of interest within the Waterfront’s current city design.

This was the unique Port Captain’s Workplace accomplished in 1882. On the second ground is an ornamental mirror room, which enabled the Port Captain to have a view of all actions within the harbour. On the underside ground is a tide-gauge mechanism used to verify the extent of the tide. Restoration of the Clock Tower was accomplished in direction of the tip of 1997.

The Time Ball Tower (invented by Captain Robert Wauchope) is a signaling gadget during which a ball is dropped at a given time to ensure that ship masters to find out the error and charge of their chronometers while in harbour. The Time Ball Tower within the Waterfront was inbuilt 1894 and is located subsequent the Harbour Engineer’s former residence (Dock Home). It remained in use for 40 years after which new know-how led to it mendacity idle for 63 years earlier than being restored and formally recommissioned in November 1997.

The Dragon Tree (dracaeno draco) planted subsequent to the Time Ball Tower is a species initially from the Canary Islands. Nicely over 100 years outdated, this is among the largest of its kind in Cape City. Believed to have been planted by a sailor passing by way of Cape City, the sap (“dragons blood”) of those timber was as soon as widespread as a drugs to deal with dysentery and diarrhea.

Sadly, the Dragon Tree was severely broken in storms in 2001 and the tree in within the means of regeneration.

Robben Island Embarkation Constructing on the finish of Quay 5 on Jetty 1 is the embarkation constructing for prisoners despatched to Robben Island. Though the aim and use of the island modified quite a lot of instances over the past century or so, it extra not too long ago gained worldwide notoriety as a jail for up to date political figures together with South Africa’s first democratically elected President, Nelson Mandela.

The Robben Island Exhibition and Info Centre located subsequent door to the Historic Clock Tower constructing, is a singular museum depicting the historical past of Robben Island and the political battle for democracy.

Each day ferry journeys to Robben Island depart from the jetty close to the Robben Island Exhibition and Info Centre within the Clock Tower Precinct and from the Robben Island Embarkation Constructing on Jetty 1. Guided excursions and bus excursions on the island embrace a go to to the jail with viewing of the limestone quarry, Garrison Church (1841), lighthouse (1863), Leper’s Church (1895), guesthouse (1895) and a Kramat, or Muslim shrine. Seabirds, African (jackass) penguins, ostriches and bontebok are a few of the wildlife on the island.

The Seal Touchdown is uncommon to get a detailed view of seals, as offshore islands are their most well-liked breeding grounds. A colony of Cape fur seals are nevertheless a well-recognized sight resting on the seal touchdown within the Clock Tower Precinct subsequent to the unique Bertie’s Touchdown Restaurant and on outdated tyres lining the quaysides across the Waterfront. They’re an integral a part of harbour life and Capetonians are lucky sufficient to have these seals dwelling in such shut proximity.

Breakwater Jail (Lodge) is the unique Breakwater Jail was constructed in 1860 to deal with the convicts engaged on the breakwater point. A dramatic reminder of the punitive penal attitudes prevalent within the 1890’s is the stays of a treadmill seen alongside the previous jail constructing, now housing the College of Cape City’s Graduate College of Enterprise and the Breakwater Lodge – a snug non-graded lodge.

The South African Maritime Museum showcases the maritime historical past of Desk Bay and homes the most important assortment of mannequin ships in South Africa. Floating displays within the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront embrace the SAS Somerset – a retired Naval Defence Increase Vessel and the Alwyn Vintcent – a coal-fired steam tug.

The Chavonnes Battery is explicit significance to the brand new Clock Tower Precinct growth, is its historic base – the Clock Tower, itself a nationwide monument. Lately, preliminary excavation uncovered a portion of the Chavonnes Battery, which is among the oldest European buildings in South Africa, constructed within the early 1700’s.

Investigations carried out by the Archaeology Contracts Workplace on the Division of Archaeology on the College of Cape City have yielded a full report on the historical past of the battery.

Inbuilt 1714-1725 by the Dutch East India Firm, the Chavonnes Battery was designed to additional shield the Cape, along with Fort Knokke and the Amsterdam Battery.

Eyewitness accounts described the Chavonnes Battery as being essentially the most formidable of the Desk Bay fortifications.

By mid-Nineteenth century, the Chavonnes Battery had been put to quite a lot of makes use of. Moreover serving a army position, it was used as an isolation and convalescent wing of the outdated Somerset Hospital. Crew and passengers of ships stricken with contagious sicknesses resembling smallpox had been confined to the battery till they had been thought of match. The Battery was decommissioned in 1861.

As a part of the brand new growth, the Chavonnes Battery has been retained and a part of the ruins opened to the general public for viewing – and acts as an actual characteristic of the Clock Tower Precinct.

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