Western Cape Tourist AttractionsCentre for the Book
Where? 62 Queen Victoria Road, Cape Town Central, Cape Town
The Centre for the Book, as its name suggests, promotes a culture of reading, writing and publishing in local languages. It's the National Library's outreach arm and aims to increase access to books for all.
The Centre for the Book lies not far from the Planetarium in Cape Town, one of 5 top free sights in the city bowl. The other 4 free sights are: The Company's Garden, Greenmarket Square, Pier Place Statues and St George's Cathedral choir.
Why visit the Centre for the Book?
It's a national monument, for one. And domed ceremonial halls don't come more lovely than this. The Edwardian building is stately and photo worthy, and its ceremonial hall holds a selection of locally published books.
The Centre for the Book was opened as the University of Good Hope's headquarters, and whilst the university no longer exists, this annexe of the National Library is too beautiful to pass over.
The gorgeous domed atrium of the central reading room is the venue for concerts and is often hired for weddings – the podium lends itself to ceremonies, whilst the hall is perfect for receptions.
It is a building that deserves recognition for its beauty, which is why it finds itself in the pages of Paul Duncan's Hidden Cape Town – a book about the architectural treasures of Cape Town - over 240 pages of gorgeous photographs of famous, and not-so-famous, buildings.
Other buildings included in Hidden Cape Town include: the art deco Old Mutual Building in Darling Street, City Hall, Somerset Hospital, the Irma Stern Museum, various churches, mosques and synagogues and the Mount Nelson Hotel; in total 30 buildings (it may be worth laying your hands on a copy).
Join the library. And look out for writing workshops.
Where: 62 Queen Victoria Road, Cape Town
When: Monday to Friday from 08h00 to 16h30.
Cost: Admission is free.