| The Early
|Many of the monuments and
buildings that characterise Cape Town today were erected in the early twentieth
century. Some, like Rhodes Memorial (1912)
represent a nostalgia for the Imperial era, others celebrated the VOC era.
The 'Cape Dutch' movement begun by Cecil Rhodes inspired his
architect Sir Herbert Baker and organisations such as The South African
National Society. Numerous farm houses, Cape Dutch buildings, the Old Supreme
Court and the Castle were preserved. Baker and his followers popularised
building in the Cape Dutch style of gables, thatch, verandahs and whitewash.
Organisations such as the Van Riebeeck Society (1918)
projected Cape Town as the 'Mother City' of South Africa, the cornerstone of
its cultural heritage. They defined South Africa and its heritage in terms of
the arrival of Europeans at the Cape.
Other developments consolidated Cape Town's place as a
cultural centre. The University of Cape Town (UCT) was formally established in
1918 following bequests from mining magnates, and was built on land bequeathed
by Rhodes from his Groote Schuur estate. The Campus buildings were completed in
1930 by J.M. Solomon, one of Herbert Baker's associates.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens were established in 1913, as a
showcase for Southern African flora. The National Gallery was built with public
gardens containing WWI war memorials. In 1930 the Place Name Committee decided
that 'Capetown' be renamed Cape Town, as the former was considered
Although Cape Town asserted itself as the 'Mother City' of the
South Africa, nevertheless there remained a strong attachment to the UK, and
not only among English-speaking whites, but also among others who sensed that
the new conservative order would treat them less favourably than the liberal
regime of Britain.
The mood was well expressed during the royal family visit in
1947. The city arranged a series of flamboyant spectacles to welcome King
George and his family from banquets to firework displays, balls, reviews and
garden parties that included mock 'Malay' weddings. The connection to Britain
helped Capetonians feel part of the international community which was perceived
to be 'civilised'.
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· Culture ·
In this period of Cape History: