PICS | What Greenmarket Square and the Cape Town CBD looked like in 1900

2020-01-24 08:45 - Marisa Crous
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Cape Town then and now, what a difference 120 odd years makes!

Here's a look at two very central spaces that define the Mother City and they have changed over the last century (and a bit). Luckily, the mountain has always remained exactly the same...

WATCH: Time-lapse shows how the Cape Doctor plays havoc with cruise ship in Table Bay 

Greenmarket Square

1900 and 1901 - Built in 1696, this central square has been used for everything from a slave market, to a place of political protest, a parking lot and more recently, an African flea market.   

Vintage photograph of a large crowd gathers for a

(Vintage photograph of a large crowd gathers for a political meeting, Greenmarket Square, Cape Town, 1900. At the time of the Second Boer War. PHOTO: Getty Images)

A vast crowd of people celebrate the proclamation

(A vast crowd of people celebrate the proclamation of King Edward VII, in 1901. See the Old Town House and the Central Methodist Church just-just peeking out on the right.  PHOTO: Getty Images) 

2019 - Today it is a vibrant hub of activity, with corner cafes in abundance and vendors selling African curios and goods. 

More recently, it has also become a site of occupation as refugees continue to camp outside the Central Methodist Church. 

Cape Town City Bowl 

19th Century: The Mother City was originally given the name of '||Hui !Gais' – a toponym in the indigenous Khoi language meaning "where clouds gather." Now, whether it's the year 1899 or 2019, the same seems to always ring true when it comes to Cape Town's weather. 

Antique photograph of Cape Town Table Mountain

(Antique photographs of Cape Town's City Bowl, South Africa-19th century. PHOTO: Getty Images)   

Antique photograph of the outstanding panorama wit

(Clouds over Table Mountain. PHOTO: Getty Images) 

2020: Today, the city is built up from the V&A Waterfront all the way to where the mountain begins. 

What could Cape Town look like in 2100? Hopefully by then, there will be less wind...

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