The VOC Kruithuis is a military museum in Stellenbosch, Western Cape. Built in 1777, the museum was originally the powder magazine for the Dutch East India Company in the Cape. Due to Stellenbosch being a peaceful town, the Kruithuis soon lost its military importance, and became the location for the local Friday market.
After serving as a Market House for nearly a century, the building was restored by the Stellenbosch Municipality in 1936, and proclaimed a National Monument in May 1940. In 1943, it was opened to the public as a small Africana museum. However, this also did not last long and many years passed as the building remained locked and inaccessible to the public.
In 1971, the municipality agreed to allow the Stellenbosch Museum to take over the building for displaying a collection of firearms, cannons, military uniforms, and other fascinating military item. Today, the VOC Kruithuis is unique as it is the only remaining powder magazine in the country that dates back to the days of the Dutch East India Company and is a symbol of the town’s rich and varied architectural heritage.