De Tuynhuys

De Tuynhuys is a beautiful building, built originally in 1700 as a residence for important visitors to the Cape

Western Cape Tourist AttractionsDe Tuynhuys

De Tuynhuys, the office of the state President and closed to the public, witnessed one of the most important turning points in South African history when FW de Klerk announced from its steps, on 18 March 1992, that South Africa had Ďclosed the book on apartheidí.

Where? Government Avenue, Cape Town Central, Cape Town

Overnight? See City Bowl accommodation, in Cape Town

This beautiful building, built originally in 1700 as a residence for important visitors to the Cape, lies between Parliament buildings and the Presidentís Council in Company Gardens.

De Tuynhuys has been used as an official residence by almost all the governors of the Cape - Dutch, Batavian and British - and by State Presidents after the country became a Republic in 1961. Historians have put together a sketch of Tuynhuysís history and, it seems, it began as little more than a tool shed. This was converted into a guesthouse in the year Simon van der Stel became Governor in 1679, and by 1710 the guesthouse had already become a double-storey building with a flat roof.

However, there is evidence that Tuynhuys was not always livable. Lord Charles Somerset, who was responsible for adding a beautiful ballroom and for much of the re-decoration, had to move out of the building in 1824 as it was uninhabitable. Towards the end of the 19th century a debate as to its very existence occurred as authorities considered demolishing it, and a further restoration of the residence took place in 1967.

Today, De Tuynhuys stands as a symbol of a nation that has come through a history of colonisation and apartheid, and managed to survive intact, its young democracy a shining example to the world of manís ability to overcome adversity.

Popular Attractions near to De Tuynhuys

The Company's Garden

Company's Garden is the oldest garden in the country. It has its origins in Jan van Riebeeckís vegetable garden, which he grew to feed the original colony as early as 1652, but a little closer to the coast. In a bid to plant in more fertile...

More info and contact details: The Company's Garden

South African National Gallery

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...

More info and contact details: South African National Gallery

South African Museum

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...

More info and contact details: South African Museum

Did you know?

Tuynhuys was the venue for the opening of the first Cape Parliament by the British Governor in 1854. Today, De Tuynhuys is the office of the Presidency of a democratic South Africa that has emerged after centuries of colonisation and decades of apartheid.

©Unauthorised use of the
photos is strictly prohibited. has been assisting travellers with their South African holiday plans since 1999, and is the largest online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German. © All Rights Reserved. Find and book hotels and accommodation in South Africa. Sitemap