The Company's Gardens is a park and heritage site located in Government Avenue, central Cape Town.
Also known as Company's Garden, the Cape Town Gardens, the Cape Gardens, the Government Gardens, or simply The Gardens. Referred to as De Kompanje-tuine in Dutch, or Die Kompanjiestuin, die Goewermentstuine or simply Die Tuine in Afrikaans.
It is the oldest European style garden in the South and has its origins in Jan van Riebeeck’s vegetable garden, which he grew to feed the original colony and to replenish ships of the Dutch East India Company , rounding the Cape on their way to the east. Originally a little closer to the coast,it was moved to its present site later, since there was more fertile soil and the gardens would be more sheltered from the wind.
The precinct gradually became the cultural hub of Cape Town. In the gardens and surrounding them one finds numerous memorials as well as an outdoor restaurant and tearoom, the South African Houses of Parliament, Tuynhuys (the official residence of the president), the South African Museum, the South African National Gallery, the National Library of South Africa, St George's Cathedral, the Slave Lodge, The Centre for the Book, the South African Jewish Museum, the Cape Town Holocaust Centre and the famous Mount Nelson Hotel nearby.
Use as a performance venue
The Company's Garden is intricately bound with the arts in South Africa, so besides the art gallery and being an extremely popular public space for families and workers, the Gardens themselves (or various spaces in them) have over the centuries been used to serve as venue for performances, festivals, fairs and fêtes, including large public or political events and demonstrations.
Go to ESAT Bibliography
Return to ESAT Venues C
Return to The ESAT Entries
Return to Main Page