Adderley Street through the years
Cape Town’s oldest and most vibrant main road
There’s an old South African saying that goes, “I’ll buy you a farm on Adderley Street”. It’s an expression of confidence – a bit like saying you’ll eat your hat if you’re proven wrong about something. The phrase attests to the prestige once associated with Adderley Street – the lively main road of Cape Town, running from the Table Bay Harbour to the entrance of the Company Gardens at Government Avenue. And, while there may be far wealthier strips in the city these days, Adderley Street remains Cape Town’s most historic and renowned arteriole.
The new Taj Hotel in Cape Town has secured a prime position near Adderley Street, offering guests an exclusive address whilst residing in the city. “Most visitors to Cape Town want to experience the City Bowl,” says Theo Cromhout, Sales and Marketing Manager for Taj Hotels in South Africa. “When they stay at the Taj Hotel, they’ll have immediate access to it, as well as magnificent views of this part of the city.”
The inner-city restoration project, currently underway in Cape Town, has restored glamour and upmarket appeal to Adderley Street, adds Cromhout. “Adderley Street has become a sought-after address in Cape Town, which makes the Taj Hotel the ideal venue for those seeking luxury in a trendy, yet historic, location.”
Adderley Street: Behind the name
During the 19th century, plans were afoot by the British to turn the Cape into a convict colony – a proposal that was met with much opposition. British Parliamentarian Charles B Adderley successfully contested this plan, and so, in his honour, Adderley Street was named.
This rolling main road – which initially served to connect the earlier Dutch settlement to the docks at the Foreshore – soon became the street du jour for the Cape’s wealthiest inhabitants. It was a sought-after address; a place where the affluent flocked to see and be seen, to shop and socialise and take in the fresh summer air.
Later, it became the commercial hub of the city, and soon flower sellers had set up their trade near Darling Street. Today, more than a hundred years later, the fresh flower market is one of the most enduring features of the main street, the freshly-cut blossoms creating a sea of colour along its shoulder.
Many of the structures on Adderley Street feature the original architecture of the 19th century, and indeed many are the same buildings that stood here when the street enjoyed its heyday a century ago.
Top places of interest on Adderley Street
Adderley Street attracts thousands of visitors each year, primarily because of its proximity to famous landmarks and cultural attractions in the City Bowl. Here, visitors will find many craft markets, shops, eateries and places of historic significance. These include the Old Slave Lodge Museum, Groote Kerk – the oldest church in South Africa – and the Company Gardens, which were established by Jan van Riebeeck after his arrival in the Cape in 1652.
About the Author:
Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces is one of Asia’s largest and finest hotel companies, with establishments in the world’s most sought-after destinations. The new Taj Cape Town is a luxury Cape Town city hotel located at the top of Adderley Street in a historic part of Cape Town.