Constitution Hill Museum & Heritage Site

A sobering walk through South Africa’s apartheid past.

Highlights

  • Visit the Constitutional Court – South Africa’s highest court in the land
  • Gain insight into prison life and stories of high-profile inmates such as Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Barbara Hogan and Albertina Sisulu
  • An eye-opening experience of how differently blacks and whites were treated

Description

Constitution Hill is a living museum that tells the story of South Africa’s transition from colonialism and apartheid to democracy. The sites included – the Old Fort, the Women’s Jail and Number Four – are juxtaposed against profound symbols of human rights, democracy and constitutionalism. Altogether the site a place of remembrance and redemption. An ideal family day out that shapes the way one thinks about history for years to come. – Constitution Hill also provides safe underground parking, free Wi-Fi and a café on site.

History

The site of the museum has a long history dating back to 1893, when the Old Fort was first opened as a prison for white men, before briefly serving as a military fort. Additional sections were added during the early 20th century including Number Four (a block for black male prisoners), a Women’s Jail and an Awaiting Trial Block. The site was renamed Constitutional Hill after South Africa was declared a democracy in 1994, and a decision was made to locate the Constitutional Court on site. Today, Constitution Hill – the whole precinct – is a national heritage site open to the public for the purpose of educating visitors on South Africa’s history.

Contact Details

Day Open Close
Monday 09:00 16:00
Tuesday 09:00 16:00
Wednesday 09:00 16:00
Thursday 09:00 16:00
Friday 09:00 16:00
Saturday 09:00 16:00
Sunday Closed Closed

Closed: Sundays, 21 December – 2 January

Phone: +27 (0)11 381 3100
Website: www.constitutionhill.org.za

Directions to Constitution Hill

Advice for visitors

If you come in your own car, park in the designated garage and take a walk to the Hill. The suggested duration for the museum is two to three hours, but don’t rush. There is much to be seen and read in order to provide a holistic understanding of South African history. The well-signposted and detailed information boards make for easy self-guided tours, however, the available guides (included in admission fee) add unique pieces of information that could otherwise be missed. If you’re in need of a refreshment during your time at Constitution Hill, be sure to visit The Hill restaurant for lunch, which serves delicious burgers, salads and wraps.

Did you know

Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi, Fatima Meer and Winni Madikizela-Mandela served prison time here.

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