The Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope has been part of Cape Town for nearly two hundred years. It is the oldest scientific institution in South Africa, if not in all of Africa. Now the headquarters of the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), it is treasured for its science as well as for its special architecture.
The extensive SAAO collections of instruments and historical images have been drawn upon to present a vivid account from its foundation in 1820 to the present day. Outlined are the Observatory’s history, buildings, astronomical achievements, conservation and heritage issues and its natural setting between the Liesbeek and Black rivers.
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