Cape Town was founded in 1652 by Governor Jan van Riebeeck as a supply station on the Dutch East India Company's sea route to the East. In 1795 the British occupied the city. It was returned to the Dutch in 1803 but recaptured in 1806 by the British, who established Cape of Good Hope Colony with Cape Town as capital. When the Union of South Africa was formed in 1910, Cape Town became its legislative capital and Pretoria its administrative capital.
Cape Town's attractions include the Castle, a fortress dating from 1666; the Dutch Reformed church (begun 1699); Old Town House (1755), which contains a museum of 17th-century Flemish and Dutch paintings; and botanical gardens and an aquarium. Cape College for Advanced Technical Education is in Cape Town; nearby is the Groote Schuur estate, which includes the prime minister's residence and the Univ. of Cape Town. The city has an international airport. Robben Island, a former political prison, is offshore.
City (pop., 2005 est., urban agglom.: 3,103,000), legislative capital of the Republic of South Africa. It is also the capital of Western Cape province. Located on Table Bay, Cape Town has long been an important regional port. The first settlement at Table Bay, it was founded in the 17th century by the Dutch navigator Jan van Riebeeck for the Dutch East India Company, and it soon served as a stopover for ships plying the Europe-to-India route. It was under Dutch rule intermittently until it was taken by the British in 1806. Today it is a commercial and cultural centre. Seealso Pretoria; Bloemfontein.
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