Grand Parade and City Hall, Cape Town
In the build up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup the Grand Parade, South Africa's oldest public space, received a facelift to the tune of R21 million to upgrade and repave what were the rather tired remains of a major landmark.
Grand Parade, as its name suggests, served as a military parade ground for many years and as a stage for public participation, be it as a venue for major political rallies or flea market stalls. Its greatest claim to fame, however, is that it was where Nelson Mandela addressed the nation after his release in 1990, and again in 1994 following his election as president.
The major upgrade of the space was intended to place Grand Parade back at the heart of the city, and certainly during the 2010 World Cup it functioned as a major fan park for football fans, whilst the usual traders were moved to Castle Street, the Castle's lawns and other sites. The intention is also to improve the trading area that functions as a daily market.
Next door in the Old Drill Hall is the City Library.
The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, a multi-functional, full-time professional symphony orchestra, claims City Hall as its home and regularly performs in City Hall's auditorium (on most Thursdays). The venue also hosts choir competitions, school bands, variety shows, African music, jazz and more.
Accommodation nearbyRelated Links
Attractions / Activities nearby
When the apartheid government swooped on District Six, Cape Town in 1965, forcibly removing its occupants and declaring the area a "whites-only" zone, the rich fabric of an impoverished but vibrant community was torn to shreds. Over 60 000 people were wrenched from their homes, livelihoods ... more information
You cannot visit Cape Town and not visit one of its oldest markets, set on a cobbled square between Short and long Market Streets. This is where Capetonians have been buying their clothing, jewellery, sandals, crafts and nick-nacks for years, and, whilst the face of the market may have changed a ... more information
The city of Cape Town, despite not being the capital of South Africa, is home to South Africa’s Parliament - Cape Town is the legislative capital, whilst the seat of government is in Pretoria, the administrative capital - which is one of the biggest draw cards to the city under the mountain. Lying in the ... more information
The oldest museum in sub-Saharan Africa, the South African Museum (SAM) has been adding to their collections for nearly 200 years and was established in 1825. Collections here range from fossils to insects and fish found as recently as a week ago; there are Stone Age tools, over 120 000 years old, side by ... more information
Lying in the Company Gardens, opposite the South African Museum on Government Avenue, the South African National Gallery houses some of the most beautiful collections of South African, African, British, French, Dutch and Flemish art in South Africa. The South African National Gallery’s permanent ... more information