Posted by: Taj Cape Town | Posted in Activities,Cape Town,Events,History,Hotel | on: April 13, 2017


Get a Slice of History at Museum Night in Cape Town

Museum Night in Cape Town is the perfect time to explore the city at night. On Thursday the 20th of April 2017 a variety of Cape Town’s museums will be open from 5 pm until 10 pm for the third annual Museum Night. First Thursdays have collaborated with Iziko Museums to give you the chance to explore the Company’s Garden cultural centres and view exhibitions, shows and performances. With free museum entry, locals and visitors alike are in for an after-hours treat.

Participating Museums

Nine museums will be open and ready to give you an enlightening cultural experience. These are just some of them:

Iziko South African National Gallery

One of South Africa’s most epic art museums, the South African National Gallery houses a range of British, African, South African, Dutch, French and Flemish art. While this gallery continually hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions, it also displays exhibits from their permanent collection. Visitors will view a range of different artistic mediums from paintings and sculpture to beadwork and architecture.

SA Jewish Museum

Not to be mistaken for the Holocaust Centre, this museum was opened in 2000 by Nelson Mandela and Helen Suzman. Founded by philanthropist Mendel Kaplan, this museum is located in South Africa’s synagogue which was built way back in 1863. Watch audio-visual presentations, interactive displays and personal accounts of South African Jewish history.

District Six Museum

Since 1994 the District Six Museum has highlighted the painful struggle people of colour endured during apartheid. Housing a collection of artefacts, historical pieces and visual imagery, this museum shares the heartbreaking experiences of people who were forcibly removed from their homes during the apartheid era.

Iziko South African Museum

Founded in 1825, this museum is, in fact, the country’s oldest. Over the last 192 years, over 1.5 million specimens have been collected to form the museum’s displays. The public is able to see stone tools, ancient fossils meteorite samples and various animal and marine displays. One of the most impressive displays is that of the 20.5-meter blue whale skeleton.

Iziko Slave Lodge

Over the lifespan of this building, it has been referred to as the Slave Lodge, Government Offices Building, the Old Supreme Court and the South African Cultural History Museum. As one of the mother city’s oldest buildings, this is a place where human rights awareness and the history of slavery can be explored.

A Slice of History in Taj Cape Town’s Twankey Bar

Once you have explored every creative, cultural and educational corner of the galleries participating in Museum Night, the best way to unwind is with an artisanal cocktail at the Twankey Bar. Just one of Taj’s exquisite gourmet offerings, The Twankey Bar is situated on the corner of Adderley and Wale Streets just 500 meters away from the Company’s Garden.

A piece of history can be seen above the entrance to the door to the bar in the form of a sculpture of a shepherdess. It was commissioned in 1894 by the Board of Executor’s architect.  The sculpture was not well received by the townsfolk who felt the subject matter was both ridiculous and a waste of money. The shepherdess was thus nicknamed “Widow Twankey” after a then famous pantomime dame. Widow Twankey was first written about in 1861 and her character ran a Chinese laundry in Peking, China. She was a pantomime dame i.e. she was always played by a man and the name has stuck to this day.

For those who are excited to spend more than an evening in the city of Cape Town, Taj Cape Town is the luxury accommodation which eagerly awaits your arrival. Guests and visitors alike can both indulge in more of Taj’s gourmet offerings at Bombay Brasserie and Mint, the Local Grill. To make a booking, email or phone +27 (0) 21 819 2000. To book accommodation contact:, or call +27 21 819 2000.


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