This Building has since been given over to the National Cultural History Museum. It was declared a National Monument under old NMC legislation on 8 September 1967.
It all began wth the proper Housing of Slaves in Cape Town presenting the Dutch with a problem, when the first Slaves arrived on 28 March 1658. At first they were Housed within the Fort; they were then moved to a House called Corenhoop Built for them just outside the Fort. In the 1660s, they were moved to a specially designated Slave Lodge immediately Below the Company's Gardens. Because this Building soon fell into disrepair a new Lodge in the form of a Single Storey rectangular structure set about an Open Court was built to House some 500 – 600 Slaves. Work started in February 1679, but before it could be completed, the Old Lodge was completely destroyed by a fire. The Building housed the Company's Slaves for nearly 31 years. By 1716 it had again grown too small and in 1732 it was Restored and Enlarged. In 1752 it was again Extended and was given a Second Storey. After the British Annexation of the Cape in 1806 most of the Slaves Housed in the Lodge were sold in 1807. When it was also decided to Convert the Building into Government Offices. It was at this stage that the Building gained its fine Façade Designed by Thibault and erected by Schutte, while parts of its Decoration are the work of Anton Anreith. On completion of the work various Government Departments were transferred into it, including the Supreme Court, the Master's Office, the Receiver of Revenue, the Attorney General, the Government Secretary, the Bank and the Public Library. On 31 January 1811 Thibault was instructed to design a Court Room within the Courtyard of the Building and this came into use on 19 January 1815 and served this function for the next Century. As the various Departments began to find premises elsewhere in Cape Town, so then more and more space was taken over by the Supreme Court and its many functions. Serious damage was done to the Building in 1926 when Adderley Street was Widened and the Building's Façade had to be Set Back more than 13m. Although the Reconstruction of its Façade was done most meticulously and according to original drawings, a number of important Rooms within the Building were lost and a number of Alterations had to be made to the Supreme Court Chamber. The battle for its Preservation and Retention as an important component of Cape Town's Historical core was finally won in the 1950s. The Slave Lodge is one of the Oldest Buildings in Cape Town. The many names of the Building over three centuries – Slave Lodge, Government Offices Building, Old Supreme Court, and SA Cultural History Museum – reflect the long and rich History of this Building.
In 1998 this Museum was Renamed the Slave Lodge. Under the umbrella theme: ‘From human Wrongs to human Rights, the Exhibitions on the Lower Level of this Museum explore the long History of Slavery in South Africa. Through changing, temporary Exhibitions are addressed and issues around and awareness of human rights are raised.
The Upper Level Galleries as well as other spaces in the Museum will be renewed in the coming Years.
An Audio-Guided Tour can be rented at a nominal fee. This guide takes you on a Historical journey through the Slave Lodge and gives you insight into the dismal living conditions.
School groups can book Lessons with one of our Educators. For more information about School Visits see the Education and Public Programmes section of there Website- https://www.iziko.org.za
Unfortunately, the Museum does not have a shop. Visitors are however, able to purchase an informative brochure entitled “Slaves at the Cape: Oppression, Life and Legacy”. The brochure provides visitors with an overview of the History of slavery at the Cape. Visiting Exhibitions are sometimes accompanied by publications which can be purchased at the reception desk. The entrance is on the Corner Adderley and Wale Streets, Cape Town. There operating times are from Monday to Saturday from 09h00 to 17h00. Closed on Sundays, Workers' Day and Christmas Day
Tel: +27 (0)21 467 7229
Fax: +27 (0)21 460 8238
6-18 years R15
SA Students and pensioners R15
Family Ticket (2 adults & 2 children) R75
Under 5’s enter for free
-33° 55' 30", 18° 25' 12"