Chavonnes Battery Museum (Cape Town)
Overview of the Chavonnes Battery Museum
Visit the Chavonnes Battery Museum and step below sea-level onto the original Cape Town shoreline of 280 years ago. When completed in 1726, there was no Waterfront, no Clock Tower and no Alfred Basin.
Watchdog at Cape Town’s front door, the Chavonnes Battery was built over when the Alfred Basin was constructed in 1860. Like buried treasure, it was uncovered again 140 years later.
At the Museum you go right into the depths of the Nedbank building and see how the battery looked when it was built. Experience the ancient walls of Table Mountain rock and granite, cemented with a mixture made by burning sea-shells on Robben Island, still there after almost three centuries. This is the sand Jan Van Riebeek and Harry the Strandloper walked on.
Enjoy the largest display of Muzzle loaded cannons in the country and learn about the early history of the Cape displayed in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa. Wear an 18th Century Tricorne hat and experience how people lived at this bustling halfway stop between Europe and the East. See how its soldiers loaded and fired the cannons that made it so terrifying to the hostile ships on the lucrative Spice and Slave route.
With indoor and outdoor flow on the prestigious Clock Tower square, ample parking and in-house catering, the museum is available for special events, presentations and themed cocktail parties. Surprise your guests with the opportunity for them to fire off a charge from real cannon.
The registered tourist guides at the Chavonnes Battery are dressed in period costume complete with yellow socks and blue knee breeches offer guided tours of the museum and the V&A Waterfront Historical Walking Tour conducted daily on request.
Fun and memorable experience for all ages at this unique heritage site.
Interesting facts about the Chavonnes Battery Museum?
- Step below sea-level to the original shoreline Jan Van Riebeek walked on,
- Largest selection of 17th century muzzle-loaded cannons in the country,
- Cape Town’s oldest Heritage Site (after the Castle),
- First black female owned company to manage a private museum,
- Semi-Finalist in the SA Tourism - Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Awards,
- Finalist in the Best Cultural Venue for Corporate Events: Africa category in the Business Destination Travel Awards 2014,
- Unique Historical Visitor Attraction using Cultural Tourism for youth development and job creation.
Review of the Chavonnes Cannon Battery
We accidentally stumbled upon the Chavonnes Cannon Battery museum, while waiting for our Robben Island tour to depart. What a nice surprise! The curator is a very informed and passionate man and we spent a while listening to him relate the history of the battery.
The self-guided tour through the museum is very well thought out. The walkways guides you past the different sections of the old battery and exhibitions. A lot of information is provided, and we left the battery with a lot of respect for the fortifications of the Cape.