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Article
Kirstenbosch Gardens
During the 1890s mining baron Cecil John Rhodes bought large areas of land on the slopes of Table Mountain with the intention of creating a protected park. During his lifetime he made the upper parts of this estate available to chosen members of the public by distributing 200 keys to 'some citizens' for picnics.

When he died in 1902 Rhodes bequeathed the entire estate to the state for public use. Central to this area was the old Kirstenbosch Farm. A Botanist named Harold Pearson campaigned for it to become the site of a National Botanical Gardens and with support of MP Jan Smuts it was declared by act of Parliament and opened in 1913.

The garden was one of the first expressions of a national South African identity. The Union of South Africa, created in 1910, drew on the rich natural fynbos flora of the Western Cape for national symbols.




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