It is the oldest surviving example of European architecture in South Africa and houses two of the country's finest museums.
By the beginning of the 18th century new business, prosperity and developmental opportunities had been introduced to the port at Table Bay.
During the pre-colonial period the Table Bay valley and its environs was probably inhabited by San hunter-gathering communities, which were replaced by Khoi pastoralists some two thousand years ago.
It was re-discovered in about 2002 below the BOE building in the new "Waterfront Development" at the Alfred basin in the harbour's clocktower precinct (Fig. The remains have been preserved in a well planned site museum underneath the new building erected in its stead.It had become evident that the new settlement needed some form of protection and defense from external, mainly European enemy forces. By mid-1676 all five bastions were standing and armed with cannon, from 12- to 24-pounders.In accordance with its priorities the Company often sent governors with a military background to the Cape. These guns covered the anchoring place in Table Bay.The land along the lower reaches of the Liesbeeck River to the mouth of the Salt River consisted of barren, rocky soil with sparse vegetation.Van Riebeeck declared this too VOC grazing lands and consequently instructed Kaptains Autschomao and Gogosa of the Goringhaiqua "not to establish their kraals in the vicinity of the Liesbeeck and Salt Rivers" (Sleigh, D. The Khoi reaction to the dispossession of their lands was to disrupt farming, and in 1659 full-scale war broke out, which ended in a stalemate.