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Johannesburg > Articles about Cape Town, South Africa

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Robben Island in Cape Town


Robben Island is situated to the west of the coast of Blouberstrand in Cape Town. The name 'Robben island' in Dutch can be literally translated as the 'seal island'. The island gets its name as seals found in abundance when the Dutch settlers reached here.

Robben Island has been since the fag end of the 17th century a centre for keeping prisoners. Nelson Mandela is known to have a few years here as a prisoners. At present, this place has a museum which acts as a reminiscence to the years of struggle to achieve freedom. It is thus, an epitome of the rich history of political struggle. Prior to the settlement of the Dutch, it is believed that this place was inhabited by humans. It was only after the Dutch settled here that it was used as an isolation center.

During the Second World War, the Robben Island was a military base. It even had a hospital which took care of leprosy patients. The existence of an asylum is also known. Apart from its rich historical background, the Island is popular among tourists for its variety of flora and fauna.

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