Castle to be made rock solid again

2015-11-03 06:00
A R84m refurbishment is planned for the Castle of Good Hope.

A R84m refurbishment is planned for the Castle of Good Hope.

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The Castle of Good Hope is set to undergo renovations costing about R84m.

The project is due to be completed in September next year and was commissioned by the department of public works as instructed by the department of defence.

Over 130 locals have been hired and trained and will be given jobs for the duration of the project.

The renovations will be carried out by renovation and construction specialists GVK-Siya Zama. Over a period of 21 months, the seven buildings within the Castle walls will be repainted and have new carpentry installed. The deteriorated waterproofing on the roofs and ramparts will be replaced and the stone moat walls and banks will be repaired. The project also includes the refurbishment of murals, renovations to the Dolphin Pool and specialist plaster repairs.

Architect Dr Gabriel Fagan and his wife Dr Gwen Fagan, who have been involved with the restoration of the Castle and repair projects since 1969, have been appointed for the project.

Specialist restorer Jan Corewijn, who researched and restored the original murals during previous restoration at the Castle, will repair murals that have been damaged.

The first stone of the Castle of Good Hope was laid in 1666 and construction was completed in 1679. It replaced the original clay and timber fort called the Fort de Goede Hoop built by Jan van Riebeeck upon his arrival in the Cape in 1652.

Originally it served as a replenishment station for ships passing the treacherous coast around the Cape on long voyages between the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia).

The Castle was declared a national monument in 1969 and the Military Museum officially opened there in 1995.

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