Robben Island, South Africa’s notorious prison island, lies approx. 10 km in front of Cape Town in the Atlantic Ocean.
Already in the 17th century it served for the internment of criminal and politically unpopular people. Until the 20th Century it was used as a territory for lepers.
During the passage we enjoyed the beautiful sight of the table mountain and Cape Town. A short tour before visiting the prison shows some other sides of the island.
The wrecks testify that the stormy weather in the bay was a disaster for many ships. In the 2nd World War, powerful cannons were set up on the island.In addition to the quarry, where Nelson Mandela had to perform forced labor, the cemetery with the graves of the lepers leaves a strong impression. In proximity is the hut in which Robert Sobukwe, the first president of the PAC (Pan Africanist Congress), was isolated.
Our tour guide in the prison was a former prisoner who spent 5 years on Robben Island. He told many anecdotes from everyday life, such as how they studied at night with a flashlight under blanket (a number of prisoners completed one or more Bachalor) and the guards then chased the dog into the dorms. The prison yard and the Section B, where the political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela spent decades of their lives, were particular impressive.You leave the island with a depressing feeling, hoping that something like this never happens again!
Robben Island is a National Memorial and since 1999 a UNESCO- World Heritage Site.
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