Robben Island (1999)
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||Robben Island was used at various times between the 17th and 20th centuries
as a prison, a hospital for socially unacceptable groups and a military base.
Its buildings, particularly those of the late 20th century such as the maximum security prison for political prisoners, witness the triumph of democracy and freedom over oppression and racism.
|For nearly 400 years, Robben Island, about 12
kilometres from Cape Town, was a place of exile and imprisonment where
rulers sent those they regarded as outcasts and troublemakers. Since 1997
Robben Island has been a museum acting as a focal point of South African
heritage. Daily tours of about 4 hours long, including the two half-hour
ferry rides are offered (weather permitting) from the V & A Waterfront
in Cape Town.
During the apartheid years Robben Island was used to isolate opponents of apartheid and to crush their morale. One of the most prominent persons to have ever been kept exiled at Robben Island, is the former South African president, Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years -- more than a quarter of a century -- in prison for his beliefs, and for his political commitment to the ANC movement, and whose name and person will for ever be connected with this sombre place.
After his release he was elected president of South Africa. In 1993, Mr. Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Sources and links:
Nelson Mandela "Long Walk to Freedom". ISBN 031-654-8189.
Other World Heritage Sites in South Africa (on this site). Inactive links are not described on postage stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, South Africa section, for further information on the individual properties.
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Revised 20 jul 2006