Cape Town – Constitution Hill is a rather distinctive attraction in central Johannesburg… it is one of those rare sites that really makes you feel unsure of the reasons as to why you are attracted to it. Is it merely because the attraction is a national heritage site? You might want to know what went down at that location many years ago or you simply want to find out what the site is used for today.
Either way, each South African should visit the site, not only for the aforementioned reasons, but also because of some of the significant physical attributes that the site comprise of.
Here are the reasons why every South African should visit Constitutional Hill:
Firstly, it is home to the Constitutional Court of SA, the only court in the country that can accommodate more than 150 people.
The site is located on the highest cliff in Johannesburg… 1 800 km above sea level, to be precise. As you walk up the hill, you can literally feel the climate change as the air becomes cooler on your face.
From the top of the hill, you can view beautiful sights of the complete Johannesburg… north, south, east and west.
The architecture of the site is native to SA. At the time of the construction of the site, a call was sent out to South African artists to contribute architectural ideas and the court was then constructed based on those ideas.
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The diversity of people in the vicinity is incredible… it is a result of the gold rush that encouraged people from all over the world to migrate to the area.
Pius Xashimba, tour operator at Constitution Hill says, “The heritage of Constitution Hill stretches far beyond SA. It is a central space for Indians, Brits and the Dutch too.”
“It comprises of our history and foreigners regard it as a beacon of the world.” he added.
What’s significant about the site is that it served as a prison where Mahatma Ghandi was held for four months and former president, Nelson Mandela just before his treason trial.
Every building on the site is accommodated with an art piece that gives the building more meaning.
The walls of the prison has been preserved and now stands as the court… the bricks are still in its raw form and draped across it, is the countries longest beaded flag that was created by Xhosa women... the beaded flag is a staggering six metres long.
The site is built around two prominent stairwells that was constructed by mine workers while the site was still used as a prison.
The door of the court has the 27 constitutional rights carved into it and the site was home to three Nobel Peace Prize nominees, where two managed to grab the title.
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