Cape Town on Foot: Castle to Slave Lodge
Entrance to the Slave Lodge
This is our final stop on the tour.
Wait here at the entrance, while I tell you a few more interesting facts about the former Slave Lodge.
By about 1752, a second storey was added to the cramped building, but it did not lessen the misery suffered by the slaves languishing in the Lodge. It was designed for 600 slaves, but on average up to a thousand men, women and children were housed here. Amazingly enough, the Lodge housed Cape Town’s first school, with one classroom for boys and one for girls!
After England prohibited oceanic slave trading in 1808, the building emptied as no new slaves were arriving at the Cape and Louis Thibault was commissioned to refurbish the old Lodge. Thibault had previously condemned the Lodge, saying it was unsuitable for human habitation; it lacked suitable ventilation and light. It was so dark that even during daytime inspections he was forced to use a lantern.
The refurbished building housed various government departments, even the Supreme Court of the Cape until the end of the 19th century. This is quite an interesting turn, considering its slave lodge origin!
Now it's been transformed into a fascinating museum, dedicated to sharing the historical stories of slavery in the Cape.
I hope you enjoyed this tour and that you will have some spare time to visit the Slave Lodge and learn more about the fate of slaves in Cape Town.
Please join me again on another walk through town and history. I look forward to it. Goodbye!