Houses of Parliament


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Back in 1878 Charles Freeman won the grand sum of £250 prize money for his proposed design of the Houses of Parliament, but things went horribly pear shaped (costs ended up double what the government had bargained for) and Harry Greaves ended up finishing the job in 1885. These buildings have seen their fair share of action through the years, one of the most memorable events being when former prime minister and apartheid devotee, Hendrik Verwoerd, was stabbed to death during a parliamentary session by Dimitri Tsafendas, who later explained that a tapeworm had instructed him to do it. These days, armed with your ID or passport, you can watch a parliamentary sitting unfold from one of the gallery seats, or take a guided tour through the building and find out how this whole democracy thing actually works.

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Houses of Parliament details

90 Plein Street

Area Cape Town

Telephone 21 403 2266, 21 403 2201

Houses of Parliament website

Tours 10am, noon Mon-Fri.

Admission free; bring ID/passport. Booking essential at least 1wk in advance.

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