This banner is a comprehensive tour of the beachside town of Muizenberg. Among many things it’s considered the birthplace of surfing in South Africa and it is still one of Cape Town most popular surf beaches. We will visit many notably building, historical sites and public art along the way.
Practical tips for the Banner
The entire banner can be done on foot, but in reality it will be easiest if done partly by car and on foot. Missions 1-7 are easily done in car and designed to flow well with this in mind. Before starting the waterslide section of Mission 7 I would recommend that you park your car close to the Main Pavilion in Main Road.
Proceed on foot for mission 7-11 and jump back in your car from mission 12 onwards. This will take you all the way to St James’s Station and if you have time continue to explore both St James and Kalk Bay (recently voted by Forbes Magazine as the coolest Suburb in the World).
Technically the banner should have 24/7 access, but I would suggest caution for the areas on foot at night.
History and notable Site along the way
The Battle of Muizenberg was a small but significant military affair that began on 7 August 1795 and ended three months later with the (first) British occupation of the Cape. Thus began the period (briefly interrupted from 1803 to 1806) of British control of the Cape, and subsequently much of Southern Africa. The historical remnant of the Battle of Muizenberg is a site on the hillside overlooking False Bay that holds the remains of a defensive fort started by the Dutch in 1795 and expanded by the British from 1796 onwards (to be found in mission 18). Cannons from that era are mounted at "Het Posthuys", the Muizenberg Park and on the station platform.
The famous architect, Sir Herbert Baker, designed his house "Sand Hills" on Atlantic Road, was the architect for "Vergenoegd" further along the same road, and designed "Coel an Mar" on Main Rd.
Many of the buildings in Muizenberg date from the resort town's heyday and are built in the art deco style.
Rhodes' Cottage is a small house on the seafront that Cecil Rhodes bought as a holiday cottage and this was where he died in 1902. The house is preserved as a museum dedicated to Rhodes' life and is open to the public)
Het Posthuys is one of the oldest buildings in South Africa, originally erected in February 1673: a year before the Castle in Cape Town was occupied. It was built by the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC), originally as a three-roomed signal station, and used as a military observation post, and subsequently used as a toll-house to levy a tax on farmers passing by to sell their produce to ships lying in Simon's Bay.
The Muizenberg Battle site flanks the home of the first Italian Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to South Africa, Prince Natale Labia. Originally called "The Fort" after the site of the battle, it now bears the name Casa Labia and is a restaurant, conference centre and music venue. The house was built by skilled Italian artisans and houses part of the Labia family's extensive art collection.
There have been three pavilions built in Muizenberg - the first was a wooden one built in 1911. The next had bathing cubicles, a tearoom, and a 900 seat theatre, built in 1929. This was demolished in 1970, and a third one, still standing, was built.
Today Muizenberg is again seeing a resurgence in popularity. It is also one of Cape Town’s hubs for street art and you will see many wonderful pieces of street art along your route.