Cape Town on Foot: From the Slave Lodge to Bo-Kaap
Along Wale Street
Keep following Wale Street. On your left is St. George’s Cathedral, also known as the Peoples’ Cathedral. It played an important role in the struggle against apartheid and is worth visiting, if you have some time later.
Now let me tell you a little more about the Slave Lodge. It was the largest building built by slaves in Cape Town. During the rule of the Dutch East India Company from 1652 to 1795, about 65 000 slaves were brought to the Cape.
Thousands of men, women and children languished in the Slave Lodge, in appalling conditions. It lacked adequate ventilation and lighting. It was finally emptied of slaves after England prohibited oceanic slave trading in 1808.
The French architect, Thibault, refurbished the building which subsequently housed various government departments, including the High Court of the Cape until the end of the 19th century. Quite a turnabout, don’t you think, considering its slave lodge origin?
Carry on walking and I'll meet you at the next corner.