The Slave Lodge
Travel, Travel Stories

The Slave Lodge in Cape Town, South Africa

During my trip to Cape Town, South Africa, I took a (free) walking tour of some of the streets and came upon this building, the Slave Lodge. Unfortunately, I could not go inside because I was part of the tour and time constraints did not allow me to take a visit to it later.

This Slave Lodge was formally established in 1679 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and it housed hundreds of men, women and children – all slaves owned by the VOC. They were gardeners, cooks, housemaids etc.,

The status of their titles, however, had no connection to their living conditions. Documents suggest that their lives were much more terrible than those of slaves owned by private slave owners.

The Slave Lodge, Cape Town, South Africa

The British colonial government took over the building early part of the 19th century and turned it into a government office. It was also renamed. Some of the slaves were sold off by the governor and the rest moved elsewhere. In 1828, those surviving and remaining slaves were released from slavery.

The building was used as various government offices and in 1998, the government renamed it as Slave Lodge and it is part of the South African Museum system.

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