Hout Bay formed a major component of the Cape of Good Hope’s Defences. Stretching from Simon’s Town to The Mother City with Hout Bay offering the only other sheltered Bay that could offer a safe landing for an invading force, Hence, for well over 200 years Hout Bay has played a significant role in the defence of an international sea route which attracted international interest on both sea and land. That interest can be represented in layers which commenced when Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape to Mossel Bay, the first European to round the Cape.. That layer is not represented in Cape Town but in Mossel Bay, da Gama’s visit is the focus of their extensive cultural history and worthy of international importance. From there forward, the layers are as follows:-
A nation that turns its back on its history, the lessons and experiences of the past, good or bad, undermines the foundations of its future.
1. Portuguese explorers 2. VOC Dutch Period 3. French Period 4. First British Occupation 5. Second British Occupation 6. Victorian Period 7. Anglo Boer War Period 8 WW I & WW II
Evidence of 6 out of the 8 periods occurs in Hout Bay. Of the Military sites worthy of consideration as target Heritage Tourism Destinations are East and West Fort as well as the Apostle Battery which played a major defensive role for Cape Town during WW II.
However, a greater opportunity occurs in the creation of a Cape of Good Hope Military Heritage Trail stretching from Cape Town to Simons Town and the next few pages will cover the exciting possibilities that such a trail would present.