Iziko Slave Lodge

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Description

The old slave quarters adjacent to the Company's Garden at the top of Adderley Street now serves as the Iziko Slave Lodge, part of the Cultural History Museum complex.

In 1657 the Cape's first slaves arrived from Angola and West Africa, and later the Indies. Those lucky enough to be kept in the city lived in the slave quarters, and were fed and educated by their owners. After 1685 some of the more skilled individuals even managed to hire themselves out as artisans, eventually saving enough money to buy their freedom. Slavery was abolished in 1834.

Built in the 1600, the Slave Lodge building was first a brothel before it became slave quarters to house slaves of the Dutch East India Company. It is said that over 9000 slaves were lodged in this building from 1679 to 1811. In 1806, the British laid claim to the Cape Colony and in 1811 converted the building into government offices.  The building has since housed various government offices like the Supreme Court, Deeds Office and even the first library and post office.

Restoration of the building began in 1960, and it is now a  museum that features many themed exhibits including oriental collectibles,  'postal stones' that were used as letter boxes by Dutch trading vessels, and many other items of interest.

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