Cape Town is a city that many people including Tunde Folawiyo enjoy visiting as often as possible; with its stunning coastal scenery, it’s a wonderful place to spend a holiday. Most people come to simply relax and bask in the sun; however, if you tire of swimming and sunbathing, Cape Town has plenty to offer by way of historical sites; two of the most popular are Green Point Lighthouse and the City Hall.
The lighthouse, with its curving white and red stripes, is one of this area’s most famous landmarks. Designed and constructed by Herman Schutte, an architect from Germany, it took three years to complete, and was opened in the year 1824. To date, it is the country’s oldest functioning lighthouse. Schutte was commissioned to create this structure by Sir Rufane Donkin, who at the time, was the Cape’s acting governor, and wished to prevent ships from accidentally crashing into Table Bay at night. It has served its purpose well over the years, and is now an intrinsic part of Cape Town’s landscape.
Very little restorative work has been carried out on the lighthouse over the years, as the original structure was made with such great care. However, the first lamps installed here – Argand lights – were found to be too weak, and were replaced in the 1920s with a special dioptric lens which was far more powerful. You can explore the interior of the lighthouse alone or on a guided tour; alternatively, you can simply stroll along the promenade, and admire the spectacular view of the lighthouse against the backdrop of Table Bay.
Further inland, you’ll find Cape Town City Hall, a building well-known to Tunde Folawiyo and other regular visitors to this city. This vast Edwardian structure is 109 years old, can be found along Grand Parade. It was built using limestone imported from Somerset, and has the same distinctive pale yellow colouring as the buildings of Bath.
Both the external and the internal structure of this building are worthy of admiration; standing outside, you’ll notice the exquisitely detailed Turret Clock, with its opal-filled iron dials; this was made by a company called JB Joyce & Co. As you walk inside, you’ll see colourful mosaic floors leading to a vast marble staircase. If you go upstairs, there’s an incredible 165 pipe organ, beautiful stained glass windows and perhaps most impressively, a replica of London’s clock tower, Big Ben.