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The Colourful Bo Kaap area , Cape Town!

By Jas2
This is the colourful Bo Kaap area in Cape Town, rich in history!

The Bo-Kaap (“above the Cape" in Afrikaans) is an area of Cape Town, South Africa formerly known as the Malay Quarter. It is a former township, situated on the slopes of Signal Hill above the city centre and is a historical centre of Cape Malay culture in Cape Town.

Bo-Kaap is known for its brightly coloured homes and cobble stoned streets. The area is traditionally a multicultural neighbourhood, and 56.9% of its population identify as Muslim. According to the South African Heritage Resources Agency, the area contains the largest concentration of pre-1850 architecture in South Africa, and is the oldest surviving residential neighbourhood in Cape Town.

Its history dates back to 1760 when Jan de Waal bought a block of land at the foot of Signal Hill, between Dorp and Wale Streets. Starting in 1763, de Waal built several small “huurhuisjes” (rental houses) on this land, which he leased to his slaves.
Because the aboriginal tribes in the (Cape Town) area resisted the Dutch, slaves were initially imported from Malaysia, Indonesia and other parts of Africa, hence the name “Malay”. Most of the new residents are Muslim, and several mosques are built in the area.

After the emancipation in 1834 and the arrival of liberated slaves, developers constructed numerous rows of narrow, deep huurhuisjes.
The brightly coloured facades are attributed to an expression of freedom by the new homeowners, as all the houses were painted white while on lease.

As a result of Cape Town's economic development and expansion, and after the demise of forced racial segregation under apartheid, property in the Bo-Kaap has become very sought after, not only for its location but also for its picturesque cobble-streets and unique architecture.Increasingly, this close-knit community is "facing a slow dissolution of its distinctive character as wealthy outsiders move into the suburb to snap up homes in the City Bowl at cut-rate prices".Inter-community conflict has also arisen as some residents object to the sale of buildings and the resultant eviction of long-term residents.

In May 2019, 19 sites in the Bo-Kaap area were declared National Heritage Sites by the South African Minister of Arts and Culture. The announcement followed the City of Cape Town's council's March 2019 approving of the inclusion of the Bo-Kaap area in a Heritage Protection Overlay Zone (HPOZ), which will incorporate around 600 privately-owned homes.

Rich is South Africa's history of which this area in Cape Town is also a part!!!





Tags: Architecture Bo kaap

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Comments


banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4217 Canada
23 Feb 2021 8:12PM
Nice image, thanks for the historical background.
Chinga Plus
10 3 2 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2021 8:53PM
Colourful and beautiful !! GrinGrinGrin

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