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Fort de Goede Hoop
Cape Town, Western Cape


Status:Demolished 1666

Within the first few days of his landing at the Cape in April 1652 Jan van Riebceck chose a site for a fort close to the beach on the eastern side of the easternmost freshwater rivulet (now subterranean), in order to give protection against human enemies and wild animals. The fort stood partly on the seaward side of present-day Castle Street. The demolished suburban platforms of the old Cape Town railway station extended over the site, but part of the fort continued across Castle Street on to the Grand Parade. Basically the fort, with its four ramparts, formed a perfect square. But a false (unfortified) structure of nearly 80 ft (24 metres) in depth was added to the front to serve as a hospital and workshops, and another false extension of about 170 ft (52 metres) was built on at the back for the protection of livestock. Inside the fort timber houses were erected to accommodate civilians and soldiers.

It was demolished when the Casteel de Goede Hoop was built in 1666.

(Extracted from Potgieter et al 1971:653)

Writings about this entry

Hartdegen, Paddy. 1988. Our building heritage : an illustrated history. South Africa: Ryll's Pub. Co. on behalf of the National Development Fund for the Building Industry. pg 6
Laidler, P[ercy] W[ard] . [1933]. Tavern of the ocean, A : Being a social and historical sketch of Cape Town from its earliest days.. Cape Town: Maskew Miller. pg 11, 42, opp: 10 ill, 13 ill
Potgieter, DJ (Editor-in-chief). 1971. Standard Encyclopaedia of South Africa [SESA] Volume 4 Dev-For. Cape Town: Nasou. pg 653-654
Shorten, John R. 1963. Cape Town : A record of the Mother City from the earliest days to the present. Cape Town: JR Shorten in association with Shorten and Smith Publications. pg 11
van Riebeeck, Jan & Thom, HB (Ed). 1952. Journal of Jan van Riebeeck. Volume 1 : 1651-1655. Cape Town: Balkema. pg 27