The first structure on the site was a lodge, which was used to house the slaves employed in the company’s garden. It was built around 1679 on land that was originally part of the Garden, making it one of Cape Town’s oldest structures.
In 1807, new facilities that could manage the Cape Colony were needed, and the Slave Lodge met the needs of most. The majority of slaves in The lodge went to auction and others were relocated to the west side of the building. The area that was empty was converted into offices.
In 1811 the west wing was also renovated. The individuals who were responsible for the transformation included the architect Herman Schutte, the sculptor Anton Anreith and the architect Louis Michel Thibault.
Along with the lodge was a government office, it was also home to in addition to government offices, the Supreme Court, the post office, and the library for the public. The current building was once was extended to Adderley Street, but this part was demolished as the road was widened. The original facade was developed by Thibault was restored to its former glory.
Iziko Museums of Cape Town have transformed the Slave Lodge into a major place that raises awareness of the issue of slavery, cultural diversity, and the fight for the rights of all people in South Africa.
The slavery story on the Cape is illustrated through audiovisual and three-dimensional displays, maps, images, and text.
A section that concentrates on the life of The lodge was created using archaeological and archival materials, as well as personal memories of people whose ancestors were slaves in the Cape.
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