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Constitution Hill

11 Kotze St, Johannesburg, 2017, South Africa
| +27 11 381 3100
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Constitutional Court   South Africa

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Sun - Sat 9am - 5pm

Constitution Hill

A living museum in the heart of Johannesburg, Constitution Hill was built on the 100-acre site of a century-old prison complex, where the leaders of every major South African liberation group—from Nelson Mandela to Mahatma Gandhi—were once detained. Today, visitors can tour the area and its many attractions to learn more about South Africa’s turbulent past and journey to democracy.

Start your visit at the Constitutional Court (the highest in the country), where you can witness a real case as well as an exceptional collection of South African artwork. Next, head to the Old Fort. One of Johannesburg’s oldest buildings, it served as a “whites only” jail during apartheid, with Nelson Mandela as its only black prisoner (his cell now features an exhibition detailing the time he spent here and on Robben Island). The Number Four building, on the other hand, was reserved for black men, and once housed prisoners like Mahatma Gandhi, Robert Sobukwe, and the students of the 1976 Soweto Uprising. In this same complex, you can also visit the Women’s Jail, where female political activists like Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Albertina Sisulu, and Fatima Meer were held.

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AFAR Founder
almost 8 years ago

Constitutional Court

The court is housed in a beautiful building atop Constitution Hill. Outside is the old jail, the new Flame of Democracy, and the even newer bust of Ghandi (he was jailed here 4 times). Inside, the art is incredible. Worth the trip just for it.
AFAR Staff
almost 8 years ago

Constitution Hill, Supreme Court

The 27 clauses of South African's constitution are carved into these massive, gorgeous doors leading in to the court. Inside the foyer, the curated art collection is on par with museum-quality standards.
almost 8 years ago

Prison Cell Visit to the Apartheid era's most notorious prison

Constitution Hill on a bright summers's day with sweeping views across Johannebsburg from it's position atop a ridge in the subub of Braamfontein belies it's cruel history. However there is no mistaking the door frame wide cells that housed inter alia Nelson Mandela for a period of time. Despite the heat I felt chilled. Educational & humbling this is an instructive experience - especially given that South Africa's famed Constitution Court now resides on the same lot. Talk about progress!
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