Land­mark City Hall is an im­pos­ing build­ing full of his­tory

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

THIS IM­POS­ING Ital­ian Re­nais­sances­tyle Ed­war­dian build­ing with its strik­ing stained-glass win­dows, mo­saic floors and mar­ble stair­cases, is built from honey lime­stone and took five years to com­plete, af­ter the lay­ing of its cor­ner­stone in 1900.

Its lower walls and plinths use gran­ite from the quarry on Sig­nal Hill, while the honey-beige lime­stone, build­ing ma­te­ri­als and nu­mer­ous fix­tures and fit­tings were im­ported from Europe and Bath, in Eng­land.

The City Hall’s fa­cade was re­stored in 1979.

It sits on Cape Town’s Grand Pa­rade, known as its fore­court, which was given a ma­jor facelift in 2010.

The City Hall lies be­tween Buiten­gracht and Dar­ling streets. Its bal­cony is most fa­mous for be­ing the spot from where Nel­son Man­dela ad­dressed ju­bi­lant South Africans just hours af­ter his re­lease from prison on Fe­bru­ary 11 1990.

At the heart of its tower is a tur­ret clock, half the scale of Big Ben, that strikes the hours and chimes the West­min­ster Chimes.

It used to house the of­fices of the City of Cape Town but they have since moved. Now it hosts mu­sic con­certs and events.

Arch­bishop Desmond Tutu and Nel­son Man­dela at the City Hall in 1994.

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