The Chavonnes Battery Museum in Cape Town houses the remains of an old cannon battery, one of the fortifications the Dutch East India Company (VOC) built at the beginning of the 18th century to protect against seaborne aggressors. It is said to have taken over a decade to complete the battery, which stood at what is now the V&A Waterfront.
Inaugurated in the 1720s, the battery used 16 large guns to fire on hostile ships from its vantage point overlooking the bay. It remained active until 1860, when it was partially demolished and buried. It wasn’t until 1999 that the Chavonnes Battery was rediscovered, excavated, and conserved.
Today, the site is home to the Chavonnes Battery Museum, where visitors can gain insight into this fascinating part of Cape Town’s history. You can visit using your Cape Town Pass or Cape Town Flexi Attractions Pass or on a V&A waterfront historical walking tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Chavonnes Battery Museum is a must-visit for history lovers.
- Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the museum.
- The museum is wheelchair- and stroller-accessible.
- Guided tours of the museum are available, led by guides dressed in period costume.
How to Get There
Chavonnes Battery Museum is located in the heart of Cape Town’s lively V&A Waterfront district, within a short walking distance of several hotels and major attractions including the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. The closest train station is Cape Town Station, a 30-minute walk away.
When to Get There
The Chavonnes Battery Museum is open every day from 10am to 5pm. Give yourself between 40 and 90 minutes to fully explore the exhibits. If you visit early in the morning, you’ll likely find the museum at its quietest.
As well as exploring the early history of Cape Town through artifacts, displays, exhibits, and models, visitors to the Chavonnes Battery Museum have the opportunity to view rotating photography exhibitions. Past exhibits have included underwater photography, wildlife photography, and an international-press photo exhibition.