Wagenaer's Reservoir, Cape Town, South Africa
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Queens Blessing
S 33° 55.367 E 018° 25.393
34H E 261794 N 6243415
Quick Description: This ancient structure was originally built in 1663 to capture and supply water for the ships sailing around the Cape toward the Spice Islands.
Location: South Africa
Date Posted: 10/18/2013 9:13:29 PM
Waymark Code: WMJAAX
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member BarbershopDru
Views: 4

Long Description:
This ancient aqueduct dates back to the 1600's. These ruins are located inside a shopping mall in Cape Town, called Sanlam's Golden Acre, where the ruins happened to be unearthed in 1975 during the building of the complex. They have been preserved right where they were found and have been declared a National Monument.

Here is the history, taken from the text on the signs:
"History of the Golden Acre Ruins
When Jan van Riebeeck arrived at the Cape in 1652 he had a dam dug to supply water to sailing ships. This proved unsatisfactory, and in 1663 the Here XVII instructed Zacharias Wagenaer, the new Commander, to build a resevoir to improve the water-supply. A part of this reservois and later structures built in the area were discovered during the building operations (of the Golden Acre Mall Complex) in 1975. The ruins were excavated by the South African Museum. They are the oldest remaining Dutch structures in South Africa.

Cape of Good Hope in 1665

In 1632 the Dutch East India company (V.O.C.) sent Jan van Riebeeck to establish a refreshment station at the Cape to ensure that fresh supplies of food and water were available to sailing ships trading between Holland and the East Indies. He planted vegetables and fruit trees and had an earth dam dug to provide fresh water. This dam proved to be unsatisfactory and was replaced by a reservoir of stone and brick, part of which is preserved here. The model shows two of the first structures built at the Cape by the Dutch East India Company, the earth fort, started in 1652, and the new reservoir (the ruins of display), completed in 1663 by Van Riebeeck's successor, Zacharias Wagenaer.

These ruins are all that remain of a reservoir built in 1663 under the supervision of Zacharias Wagenaer, the second Commander at the Cape, to improve the water-supply for sailing ships. They were discovered in 1975 during building operations and have been preserved in their original position. The reservoir, built of stone and brick, was constructed in the bed of the Fresh River which flowed down to the sea from Table Mountain. The reservoir was 45x15m with a capactiy of approximately 700m3. A 1-metre-high safety wall of brick surrounded it. Four flights of steps enabled sailors to reach the water to fill barrels. A wooden sluice-gate a thte entrance of the sluice-channel regulated the water-level The sluice-channel was covered by timber and a mound of earch to provide additional strength against water-pressure.

Ruins excavated in 1975.
Site of original dam dug under supervision of Jan van Riebeeck in 1652.
New reservoir built in 1663 under the supervision of Zacharias Wagenaer to replace van Riebeeck's dam.
Foundation of open channel built by Wouter Mostert in 1671 to lead water to the sea-shore where it was easier for sailors to fill barrels.
Covered channel thought to have been built about 1695 after the sluice-channel fo the reservoir had collapsed.
Canal (gracht) built about 1700 as part of the new drainage system for the rapidly growing town. This system remained in use until 1845.
Ruins preserved and on display."

In addition to the signs/plaques that are on site, I used these websites:
Type: Ruin

Fee: 0.00

The Golden Acre is open: Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM Saturday: 9:00 AM – 2:30 PM Sunday: Closed

Related URL: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
Original photographs showing additional views of the Ruin/Remnant or even just its current condition are encouraged. Please describe your visit, especially if no additional photos are available. Did you like the Ruin or Remnant? What prompted you to see the Ruin or Remnant?
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log  
Casper&Aero visited Wagenaer's Reservoir, Cape Town, South Africa 10/19/2014 Casper&Aero visited it