Muizenberg is home to one of the oldest buildings in South Africa, dating to circa 1742.
HET POSTHUYS MUSEUM is one of the oldest buildings in South Africa, dating to circa 1742. It was built by the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC) as a toll-house to levy a tax on farmers passing by to sell their produce to ships lying in Simon’s Bay. One of the early postholders was Sergeant Muys (meaning “mouse”), from whom Muizenberg (formerly Muysenbergh and Muys Zijn Bergh (Muys’ mountain) before that) gets its name.
After a varied career as a police station, stables, brothel, hotel and private house the building was identified for what it was in the 1980s and restored with funds from Anglo American Corporation. The house is cared for by the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society and contains a small collection of photos and items of interest relating to early days in Muizenberg. It is open to the public.
Main Road, Muizenberg. First mapped in 1687; served as a look-out post for enemy ships entering False Bay. Later uses include preventing contraband trading, a storage place for naval goods, an ale and eating house, and a private residence. Anglo-American restored it in 1982-1983. It is run by the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society. On site is a video tracing its layered history.
Cecil John Rhodes bought the cottage in 1899. He died there on 26 March 1902. After Rhodes’s death it was administered by the Rhodes Trustees. In 1932 it was handed over to the Northern Rhodesian government. The Cape Town City Council took it over in 1937.
The museum is run by the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society. During summer it is open from 10h00 till16h00. Reduced opening hours during winter. Well worth a visit for those interested in Rhodes and Cape history. Also a fine indigenous mountainside garden.
CASA LABIA CULTURAL CENTRE
Built in 1929 to reflect the spirit of 18th century Venice, Casa Labia is the former Muizenberg residence of Count and Countess Natale Labia.
Following a complete two-year restoration by the family, this much-loved national monument was re-opened to the public on 5 May 2010 as South Africa’s most exquisite multi-functional cultural centre and up-market venue; complete with modern art gallery, Africanova boutique and an Italian café.
Read:Natale Labia Museum
(An account of the history of “The Fort” & it’s conversion to a museum and cultural centre)
THE BATTLEMENT SITE
The battlement site open-air museum was opened by the Mayor of Cape Town, Ms Helen Zille, on 6 August 2006. It is the site of the battle between the Dutch and the English on 7 August 1795, when the Dutch retreated from the advancing English naval cavalcade andinfantry. This led to the First British Occupation of the Cape.
THE POLICE MUSEUM
This museum closed its door a few years ago.
A meeting was held in 2004 with government officials to discuss a possible re-opening of the museum. There was enthusiasm for this, but nothing further has been forthcoming from the authorities.