Western Cape Tourist AttractionsPier Place
Where? Pier Place, Heerengracht Street, Foreshore, City bowl, Cape Town
Pier Place is an unassuming public square on Heerengracht Street on Cape Town's Foreshore. The square is probably best known for its position in front of Vodacom, the company occupying the bulk of the Pier Place building.
It's interesting to think that where Pier Place stands today used to be beachfront. With Cape Town's inner-city demand for expansion, the city reclaimed some of this beach and called this part of town, the Foreshore, as a consequence.
What makes the square compelling as a place to visit is its life-size bronze statues by Egon Tania, a Dutch sculptor, recently settled in Cape Town after living and working in Gauteng.
The statues depict diverse and everyday life stories of individual Capetonians, and range from a man reading his paper on the edge of one of the benches, another on his cell phone, to a young lady standing under a tree with her hands on her waist (distinctly reminiscent of Degas) and a couple of children playing with their bike.
The intention behind the statues was to reclaim the square for use by all Capetonians.
Pier Place is named after the earlier jetty that was located close to the beachfront, now a collection of busy high rise buildings and highways. The square was also refurbished – re-surfaced with cobble pavers and stylish wooden benches.
It's a pretty square in which to spend a moment, with views across the Heerengracht and Table Mountain in the background.
In and around the square are a series of hotels, cafés and restaurants that make it easy to relax at an outdoor table on the square. The square is within easy access of the city's Convention Centre.