The next place on my must visit list of Cape Town is one of Cape Town’s oldest markets, situated in Greenmarket Square. It is an open-air cobbled square in the centre of old Cape Town, South Africa. When I just moved to Cape town I would spend at least one morning a month here. I spent hours looking at the beautiful local art, crafts, fabrics and artefacts from almost every country on the African continent. The square is bordered by a selection of restaurants and cafés that provided ample opportunity to people-watch during the busy weekends. I have spent countless mornings here, just taking in the atmosphere while writing postcards or reading a book.
The square was originally built in 1696, and, whilst the square may originally have been for the wealthy and elite, today it is the stamping ground of people from all walks of life and a tribute to the vibrancy of Africa.
The square itself was originally used as a slave market and as a market for fruit and vegetables. During the apartheid era, Greenmarket Square was often the focus of political protests, due in part to its proximity to parliament, as well as the ethnicity of its traders and shoppers. Then after a period spent as a car park , the square has been returned to its original function as a market place. Today the square is a regular stop on the tourist itinerary, as the market sells tourist memorabilia from across Africa.
Greenmarket Square is where Cape Town caught a glimpse of its first electrical light and it is the central point from which the landscape of Cape Town was mapped out. Some people think of it as the very nucleus of our vibrant, Mother City.
What is your favourite market in the Mother City?