Fort de Goede Hoop

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The Fort de Goede Hoop ('Fort of Good Hope') was the first military building to be erected in what is now Cape Town. It was built in 1652, and was in use until 1674[1] when it was superseded by the Castle of Good Hope.


A picture of the Fort of Good Hope (De Goede Hoop) built at the Cape of clay and wood by Jan van Riebeeck in 1652
A model of the fort as it would have appeared in the 1650s

The Fort was built by the Dutch East India Company, when it established a replenishment station under Jan van Riebeeck on the shore of Table Bay in 1652.[2] Constructed of earth and timber, it was square, with a pointed bastion at each corner. The bastions were named Drommedaris, Walvisch, Oliphant, and Reijger.[3] The bastions were named after the ships in Van Riebeeck's fleet.

Within the Fort were living quarters, kitchens, a council chamber (which was also used for church services), a sick bay, workshops, and storerooms. Cannons were placed on the ramparts. A nearby stream was diverted and channeled to form a moat around the fort. Being built of earth, the Fort needed frequent maintenance and repairs, especially after heavy rains.[3]

In January 1666, work began on a stone fortress to replace the Fort. It took eight years to build, and it was not until 1674 that it was ready for occupation. On 2 May 1674, the council resolved to demolish the Fort, except for some stores which were retained for a while longer, until their contents had been moved into the Castle.[3]

Nowadays, for some reason, the Fort is sometimes confused with the Redoubt Duijnhoop, which was built some distance away, at the mouth of the Salt River, in 1654.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gabeba, Abrahams (1993). "The Grand Parade, Cape Town: Archaeological Excavations of the seventeenth century Fort de Goede Hoop". Fortifications of the Cape Peninsula. 48: 3. JSTOR 3888871.
  2. ^ Liesbet Schietecatte and Tim Hart (November 2009). "ARCHAEOLOGICAL MONITORING AND EXCAVATION IN THE AREA OF JAN VAN RIEBEECK'S EARTHEN FORT AT THE GRAND PARADE, CENTRAL CAPE TOWN" (PDF). Retrieved 13 July 2010.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b c Ras, A.C. (1959). Die Kasteel en Ander Vroëe Kaapse Vestingwerke.


Coordinates: 33°55′27″S 18°25′27″E / 33.92417°S 18.42417°E / -33.92417; 18.42417