Johannesburg, popularly called Joburg in local parlance, is a key city of the rainbow nation South Africa. It is the largest metropolis of the country and the hub of its richest province. The historic city has a glorious past and a happening future. If Johannesburg is your next vacation destination, then just don’t forget to visit some of its iconic places, which include Constitution Hill, Newtown, Neighbourhoods Market, 44 Stanley and Troyeville Hotel.
A virtual tour of these places will offer a fascinating glimpse into the city’s past and the present. It will also help you prepare beforehand and make your visit to Johannesburg quite exciting and enjoyable.
The Constitution Hill is situated at Braamfrontein 2017 in Johannesburg. It is situated on a hill and offers a fascinating view of Johannesburg city and its suburb. The bricks of this famous building have umpteen historic tales to tell to the quintessential visitors. The building in which Constitution Hill is housed was built in 1892. It was formerly a fort and later on converted into a prison. Prominent personalities such as Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi were among several other political activists to be imprisoned here. During the mid-1990s, the building was transformed into post-apartheid South Africa’s new Constitutional Court.
The Constitution Hill Precinct has quite a complex history dating back to 1892 when the construction of the Old Fort took place under the Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek. It mostly functioned as a prison. Several new buildings were added here during the late 1900s and early 20th century. The separate sections of this vast prison complex included an Awaiting Trail building, a Women’s Prison, Isolation cells and Natives’ section. However, for a brief period from 1899 to 1902 during the South African War the building was used as a military defense post.
The Old Fort, as it was known then, was declared a National Monument in 1964. It however continued to function as a prison until 1987. Today, it has become a Constitutional Court – the highest court in South Africa on constitutional matters. To get a unique perspective of Johannesburg and its rich history, a visit to the Constitution Hill is a must for every visitor.
Newtown is located in Johannesburg’s inner city. It is a creative, cultural, food and entertainment hub of South Africa. The Newtown district is home to many cafes, clubs, craft markets, book stores, restaurants, museums, art galleries and theatres. Newtown witnessed atrocities and brutalities during the apartheid regime. It was here that forced removals of some non-white South Africans took place under apartheid.
Today, Newtown has become a major tourist attraction in Johannesburg. The Nelson Mandela Bridge provides easy accessibility linking Newtown to Braamfontein. Some of the important landmarks worth visiting here include the Market Theatre, Museum Africa, the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre and the SAB World of Beer.
The Market Theatre played a pioneering role in the struggle against apartheid and popularly came to be known as the “Theatre of the Struggle”. The Museum Africa offers a fascinating glimpse into Africa’s glorious ancient past. The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre is the largest science centre in South Africa and plays active role in promoting science and technology in the country. The SAB World of Beer is a famous tourist attraction showcasing brewing history in Johannesburg. After visiting these attractions in Newtown, your visit would be incomplete if you miss out visiting the restaurants and nightlife spots here.
The Neighbourgoods Market is situated at 73 Juta Street in Braamfontein area of Johannesburg. It was founded in 2011. It is presently housed in a modernist building displaying a spectacular 15-story wall mural by renowned artist Eduardo Villa. The Neighbourgoods Market is open every Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm. The market is a major source for farm fresh foods and specialty goods. It is also a great meeting point for the locals to socialize, swap ideas and stories. The cupcake towers at the market invariably attract the visitors as well.
44 Stanley Avenue
The 44 Stanley Avenue is Johannesburg’s best kept secret. The site currently housing the 44 Stanley Avenue was once a series of 1930s industrial buildings. Over the decades it has undergone a major transformation and now is a collection of design studios, specialty boutiques, antique shops, cafes and foodie shops. The ambience here is quite friendly and relaxed. You will love spending time here meandering through the shady arcades and courtyards. Enjoy some time under the trees here and enjoy its awe-inspiring architecture.