Unravel the mystery in the relationship existing between gold and the African continent at this stop on the Red City Tour. Located in the heart of Cape Town close by to the Bo-Kaap area in the Martin Melck House, a popular district found on all Cape Town maps, The Gold of Africa Museum has a warm and special glow about it just as gold itself.
› Explore the relationship between gold and the African continent
› Learn about the first discovery of gold in South Africa
› Understand the purpose of this unique museum
Probably the biggest factor that shaped the South Africa of today was the discovery of gold in 1886. People from other countries flooded in, imperial Britain suddenly found the country a desirable acquisition, infrastructure flourished and the natural demographic pattern changed forever.
In its gold-mining heyday South Africa produced two-thirds of the world's gold, and the Gold of Africa Museum, tells the story of the rich gold tradition locally, as well as in the rest of Africa. The Gold of Africa Museum's primary role is to preserve the art of African wrought gold.
› See gold from African artifacts to the South African Krugerrand
› Marvel in the beauty of gold at special international exhibitions
› Be amazed at the gold creations made possible at the Goldsmiths’ workshop
The Martin Melck House, built in 1783 and restored in 2000 is believed to be one of the finest remaining examples of old Cape Town domestic architecture.
In the heart of the Gold Museum is the renowned collection of about 350 West African gold artefacts from the Barbier-Muller Museum in Geneva, and included in the impressive display are jewellery and artworks from the continent's ancient civilisations. South African Krugerrands are also on view as well as objects from the ancient gold civilisations of southern Africa. There are audio-visual displays in a presentation suite.
Alongside its permanent collection the museum showcases constantly changing temporary exhibitions from as far afield as Egypt, India, Brazil and Mali introducing the visitor to the fine work of other cultures.
The Goldsmiths’ Workshop makes a major contribution to preserving the art of African wrought gold, which now inspires modern designs with African themes.
Some of these pieces are sold in the museum shop, which offers a variety of exclusive gifts crafted by local workers.
› Enjoy an informative guided or audio-guided tour
› Shop for African gifts and jewellery at the museum gift store
› Sit back and relax at the Gold of Africa Museum’s 200-seater restaurant
Tailor-made tours can be arranged, or feel free to just wander by yourself. A night tour called the 'Pangolin tour' is also available.
There is a boutique shop offering an exclusive range of gold items, both traditional and modern, in 18-carat and 20-carat gold. Tourists with strong foreign currency will find this a good place to shop.
A striking 200-seater restaurant, which is a live-music venue, a courtyard garden and a wine cellar, adds immensely to the general appeal and practical uses of this Cape Town museum.
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