Known as Kaapstad in Afrikaans, Cape Town is South Africa’s legislative
capital, Pretoria being the executive capital and Bloemfontein the judicial
capital, and oldest city.
The city lies at the foot of Table Mt. (c.3,570 ft/1,090 m) and on the shore of Table Bay.
An efficient port, Cape Town exports mainly gold, diamonds, and fruits and, with one of the world's largest dry-docks, ship repairing is an important industry.
Cape Town was founded in 1652 by Governor Jan van Riebeeck as a supply station on the Dutch East India Company's sea route to the East. The location was chosen for its sheltered bay which formed a natural harbour and protected ships from strong wind. When the Union of South Africa was formed in 1910, Cape Town became its legislative capital and Pretoria its administrative capital.
Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on an island very near the city, Robben Island, until his transfer to another prison.
Today, Cape Town is a picturesque city and a very popular tourist destination. It has a relaxed atmosphere and offers visitors a wide range of activities such as water sports, including diving, surfing and sailing, angling, wine-tasting, shopping, scenic drives, mountaineering, hiking, bird and whale-watching and much more.
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