Jan van Riebeeck’s statue, presented by Cecil John Rhodes, is unveiled in Cape Town


J. Van Riebeek Statue

Thursday, 18 May 1899

On 18 May 1899, a statue of the first European to settle at the Cape, Jan van Riebeeck, was unveiled. The statue stands on Heerengracht Street in Cape Town. It was sculpted in bronze by John Tweed and donated to the city by Cecil John Rhodes, a politician and financier of the late 19th century.

Near this statue, at the bottom end of Adderley Street, are statues of Bartholomew Dias, a Portuguese explorer who was the first European to reach the Cape of Good Hope in 1487, and Maria van Riebeeck, wife of Jan van Riebeeck. These statues were donated by the Portuguese and Dutch governments respectively in 1952, for Cape Town's tercentenary celebrations.


  1. This day in History: 18 May [online] Available at: news24.com [Accessed 11 may 2009]
  2. Van Riebeeck Statues [online] Available at: mytravelguide.com [Accessed 11 may 2009]

Last updated : 15-May-2015

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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