Thursday, October 21, 2010

This Week I...

This week I…

…went to the Slave Lodge

When I was in school I never paid much attention when we did museum, planetarium and zoo trips. Now that I’m older and can think about more than getting up early to watch Saturday morning cartoons I am desperate to go back and learn some culture.

One of the places we never went on a school trip was the Slave Lodge. Before I knew exactly what it was, it was just another building. After what seemed like years, I finally found some time to make a visit.

The Slave Lodge is situated on the corner of Wale and Adderley street in the centre of Cape Town. It’s part of the Iziko Museums in South Africa that include the Plantetarium, South African Museum, and National Gallery. It’s also one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town.

The lodge was built in 1679 and was used to house slaves from the Dutch East India Company. What was surprising to learn is that many slaves were not South African or even African. Many were brought from other routes and placed here. What was even more surprising was the amount of leniency experienced by the slaves. It seemed once at the lodge, many slaves were able to marry, become free and own land.

One of my favourite parts of the lodge was the memory wheel. You can spin it around and round to see over 8000 names of the people once housed at the slave lodge.

Another part I enjoyed was the Nelson Mandela exhibition. It’s similar to the one at the Apartheid Museum just not as in-depth. It traces his journey from a young man to his humanitarian work and retirement now.

The lodge is open every day except Sundays and is super cheap to visit.

Ex-Oh! Ex-Oh!