Iziko Slave Lodge

Cape Town

Dating back to 1660, the Slave Lodge is one of the oldest buildings in South Africa. Once home to as many as 1000 slaves, the lodge has a fascinating history; it has also been used as a brothel, a jail, a mental asylum, a post office, a library and the Cape Supreme Court in its time. Today, it's a museum mainly devoted to the history and experience of slaves and their descendants in the Cape.

Until 1811 the building housed slaves in damp, insanitary, crowded conditions; up to 20% died each year. The slaves were bought and sold just around the corner on Spin St.

The walls of the original Slave Lodge flank the interior courtyard, where you can find the tombstones of Cape Town’s founder, Jan van Riebeeck, and his wife, Maria de la Queillerie. The tombstones were moved here from Jakarta where Van Riebeeck is buried.

The museum also has artefacts from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and the Far East on the 1st floor.

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