Landmark City Hall is an imposing building full of history
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.