Vasco Da Gama Monument St Helena Bay
Sunday, October 1, 2017 - 17:31
Thread Categories: 
2017 campaign nomination
Thread Location: 
Western Cape
St Helena Bay

The Monument commemorates the landing of Vasco Da Gama's expedition in 1497. Da Gama went on to open up the sea route to India. The site is not very well maintained with visitors often complaining about litter and vandalism. Below are a few comments from TripAdvisor:

  • Janet P - 4 February 2017: It was nice to see the monument but also sad to see that people do not care much about such landmarks. Broken beer bottles were every where and pallet gun shots againts the monument. Just wish our monuments in South-Africa could be taking better care off.
  • Bennie V - 6 December 2016: In 1497, Vasco Da Gama anchored at the current St Helena Bay and planted the first Christian cross in the Southern Hemisphere. It is humbling to visit this spot. Sadly, it is not kept clean and neat, and the statue has been defaced and vandalised. There are broken beer bottles all over, which indicates the possibility that it has only become a local drinking spot.
  • Michelle Parkinson - 1 May 2016: They could do so much more with this place and history. We were disappointed as it is merely a marble cast with illegible writing carved out. Wish they'd do more it could really be a worthwhile attraction.
  • Jaxi - 10 April 2016: Yes, I agree there is sometimes litter and it is a few standing blocks and you may be disappointed if this in your only stop in St. Helena Bay - but the significance of Da Gama arriving here is 1497 is worth the visit. A nice stop on a slow drive from Paternoster (follow the Stompneusbaai signs just outside Paternoster). A scenic view into ocean from statue and has beautiful flowers in the field in flower season. Just to note that there is also an actual statue of Da Gama in Shelley Point as well.
  • John - 4 February 2016: After reading other peoples reflections from Trip Advisor my expectations were low enough to make this an ok visit to say that I have been there. All the stone work was readable, but the amount of rubbish, broken glass and bottles strewn around was really bad. I was surprised as I have not found that much litter around in one small place since we arrived in South Africa. Lets hope the local tourist board reads these posts and does something about the rubbish.
  • Hendrik B - 20 February 2017: Very interesting attraction. Unfortunately it is not being kept clean around the monument. Broken bear bottles abound. 

Source: 2017 Endangered Heritage Sites Nomination Form.

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