Walking tour of the V&A Waterfronton May 20, 2013
The antique breakwater made from the natural bedrock shelters the beautiful Table Bay Hotel – its earlier purpose was to break the force of the sea and to provide shelter for vessels lying inside.
Bartolomeu Dias was the first to sail into Table Bay in 1488. Back then, it was a deserted bay uninhabited and undeveloped. It was only in April 1652 when Jan van Riebeeck landed that the region started to develop. He had been commissioned by the Dutch East India Company to establish a supply station for Dutch ships travelling between Europe and the East Indies. The bay was a treacherous natural harbour and many sailing ships sunk or were driven ashore as a result of the inclement weather.
In 1859, plans were approved by the Cape governor, Sir George Grey for the construction of Cape Town’s first harbour. In September 1860, Midshipman HRH Prince Alfred, Queen Victoria’s second son, tipped the first load of stone to start construction of the breakwater for Cape Town’s first harbour. The Harbour was officially opened in 1870 by Prince Alfred together with his mother, Queen Victoria.
This is just a snippet of what you will see on the V&A Historical Walking Tour . Walk in the footsteps of the many legendary adventurers, prisoners and entrepreneurs that developed this iconic harbour. Experienced guides will regale you with its colourful history. There are over 20 cultural landmarks to visit. The journey begins at the Chavonnes Battery Museum and winds its way from Clock Tower Square to the Swing Bridge and onwards to Berties Landing and more sites.