This historic monument and landmark dates back to the early 18th century when the first Dutch Colonials set up a fortification in Cape Town.

The original fortification was built, not for colonisation purposes but for defending the entrance to the bay and linked to the Castle of Good Hope, for nursing sailors back to health, stocking up with supplies, and readying themselves for further journeys East – when trade was booming. It was used until 1860 when it was ripped apart and buried to build the Alfred Basin. There it lay, buried under rubble, for 140 years until it was unearthed and the original shoreline was also uncovered. Now it is a world-class Museum that hosts a robust schedule of international photo exhibitions.


  • Discover the history of the Cape brought to life on graphic information boards
  • Archaeological ruins and Museum
  • Detailed displays of artefacts
  • Authentic 18th century muzzle loading cannons and displays
  • International Photo Exhibition on Mezzanine level


The Chavonnes Battery has been partially rebuilt on the outside from maps and pictures, and the ramparts stand on the original rocky shoreline. Inside the Museum visitors can don an 18th century Tricorn “Pirate” hat to get in the mood - perfect for selfies. On the top level they will marvel at the spectacular international photo exhibition with informative captions and thought provoking content.

Step below sea-level to discover the Archaeology ruins of the Chavonnes Battery, a VOC Fort named after the governor of the Cape, Maurits Pasques de Chavonnes, it was built in 1714 - 1725. The fort's original role was not to protect the Cape Hamlet from the indigenous clans, but to protect against any aggressors and pirates linked with the trade in which the VOC held a monopoly.

Did you know that during its first 143 years the Cape outpost remained unattacked! It was demolished in 1860 lay beneath the ground until it was excavated in the 1990s.

Now a world-class museum displaying fascinating historic information, artefact cabinets, detailed displays and dioramas, it's a must-visit attraction for a quiet meander though the history of the Cape.

Visitors can enjoy free WiFi. Chavonnes Battery is wheelchair accessible

see the: full list of attractions included »

Monday 10.00 - 17.00
Tuesday 10.00 - 17.00
Wednesday 10.00 - 17.00
Thursday 10.00 - 17.00
Friday 10.00 - 17.00
Saturday 10.00 - 17.00
Sunday 10.00 - 17.00

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Clock Tower Precinct, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town


+27 21 416 6230

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