Sunday, December 27

Images of Cape Town

I've gathered some random images over the last few days that warrant their own post. The first are images from the grounds of Goot Constantia, South Africa's oldest wine estate. It was established by Simon van der Stel, a popular commander and later governor of the Cape, who was granted land for a farm in 1685. This post's opening image is that of the Manor House, Simon van der Stel's original homestead. The current building was rebuilt during the 1790's and takes on a distinctive Dutch form. Below are other equally picturesque buildings located on the estate's immaculate tree-shaded grounds.

The next image is Slangkop lighthouse at Kommetjie. It's a 33-metre circular cast iron tower, painted white. It's unusual construction gives its the dubious distinction of being the nation's strongest such structure. The lighthouse is the result of a commission appointed in 1906 by the Governor of the Cape of Good Hope. When it entered service in 1916 it was manned by three people, before becoming a fully automatic facility in 1979. You can still climb the tower for a small fee but unfortunately it was closed on Christmas Day when we visited.

The final images are those of Cape Town's new football stadium, built for the approaching 2010 FIFA World Cup. The stadium, seating 68,000, sits on parkland overlooking the city's sweeping harbour. After the World Cup at least 55,000 seats will remain in place. It's an impressive building that, despite its bulk, forms a surprisingly integral part of Cape Town's modern skyline.

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