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Touring Nelson Mandela's landmarks in Cape Town
Explore the role Mandela played in forming our free South Africa
Latest Update: 7 July 2017
Nelson Mandela worked tirelessly for a free and democratic society that had a global impact. Thanks to his steely resolve and determination, today, Cape Town is a culturally diverse city in which everyone has the freedom to go anywhere and do anything. Accordingly, no visit to Cape Town is complete without an educational tour of the monuments, statues, landmarks and museums that celebrate uTata‘s legacy.
Perceiving Freedom Ray-Ban Sculpture
This recently commissioned and highly controversial sculpture was conceptualised and created by artist Michael Elion in 2014 and funded by sunglasses brand Ray-Ban in honour of Madiba’s impact on our society. Since its unveiling, Perceiving Freedom has become a hot topic of debate all around South Africa. The sculpture, which is in the shape of the iconic Wayfarers sunglasses, was placed on the Sea Promenade, where it will stay until 2016, and is meant to contemplatively look out at Robben Island (the hope being that passers-by would give some thought to Nelson Mandela’s perception of the world and freedom). The large sculpture was based on an old photograph that captured Madiba wearing a similar pair of shades.
Sea Point Promenade | Sea Point | Cape Town
This island served as a place of banishment and isolation for much of Nelson Mandela's imprisonment. Now a World Heritage site and museum, the prison is a poignant reminder of the price South Africa paid for freedom. Read more about day tours of Robben Island.
Nelson Mandela Gateway | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 413 4220
Cape Town City Hall
On February 11 1990, only hours after his release from prison, Nelson Mandela made his first public speech from the balcony of the Cape Town City Hall. Built in 1905, with fixtures and fittings imported from Europe, the large Edwardian building is located on the Grand Parade.
Darling Street | Cape Town
Standing in the form of a crescent are four sculptures of the Nobel Peace prize laureates Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela. Each individual's preferred quotations are engraved in their chosen languages in front of the sculptures. The Peace and Democracy sculpture, also found on the Nobel Square, is a narrative work that acknowledges the contribution of women and children to the attainment of peace in South Africa. Go there on wheels; a visit to the Nobel Peace Laureates is part of the AWOL City Cycling Tour.
Nobel Square | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town
Mandela House Museum
Now called the Groot Drakenstein correctional facility, Victor Verster Prison was where Mandela spent his final months of imprisonment. A bronze statue of Mandela shows him with a raised fist - a well recognised gesture of defiance. You can combine a tour of the prison with wine tasting and a gourmet lunch at Vrede en Lust Wine Estate.
Drakenstein Prison site | R301 between Paarl and Franschhoek | + 27 (0)82 443 8879
Mandela Rhodes Place
The Mandela Rhodes Place Hotel & Spa offers visitors a space to look at Mandela’s life in 14 stages. The foyer of the hotel has amazing portraits of uTata that commemorate his life and his journey. There is another portrait of fellow South African icon and activist Desmond Tutu in the main area, while the atrium boasts a wire art statue, entitled "First Step to Freedom", of Nelson Mandela.
Burg Street | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 481 4000
As South African leader between 1994 and 1999, Nelson Mandela spent many years presiding over Parliament. During his term, members of the chambers hammered out the 1996 constitution, the representation of women increased dramatically and laws that serve as the framework of this country’s democracy were passed. Today, the public is welcome to come inside and observe the floor where Mandela made historic speeches, like the 100 Day speech. Tours can be arranged into the government building from Monday to Friday between 9am and 12pm. Booking ahead is essential; the tours are free of charge.
Parliament | Parliament Street | City Centre | Cape Town +27 (0)21 403 2266
We honour this great man for the hope and promise of a better tomorrow he shared with all of us. If you travel into the city centre it is impossible to miss Madiba's kind face on the Civic Centre. The giant artwork formed part of the Legacy Exhibition in 2013, and although he will never be forgotten, this image is a daily reminder of his greatness.
Hertzog Boulevard | Foreshore | Cape Town | 8001 | +27 (0)21 400 2303
There are plenty of ways to get involved with your community in Cape Town for Mandela Day's 67 Minutes. However, don't wait to do your part for a better tomorrow once a year- you can use these ideas to give back all year round.
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