This fascinating museum retells the story of District Six, a former multicultural community that was evicted during the turbulent apartheid years.
District Six Museum presents an emotional journey through the history of a thriving neighborhood that was shattered by apartheid. Learn about the origins of District Six and hear stories from previous residents about how the onset of apartheid altered their lives.
First named the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town in 1867, this close-knit community was originally comprised of artisans, immigrants, liberated slaves and merchants. The National Party declared the neighborhood a whites-only area in 1966 and thus forced the residents out and demolished their homes. Discover more about these events and the devastating effect they had on the community.
The museum is housed in Cape Town’s old Methodist Mission Church, which once served as a meeting place for past neighborhood residents. Its permanent exhibition, Digging Deeper, is a captivating recount of how community life once was. Walk over a floor map on which District Six locals have marked the spots where their houses and other major features and landmarks once stood.
Chat with staff, some of whom used to live and work in the district. Many will be able to share stories about times of happiness as well as the harrowing events of apartheid and the reconstruction of their lives. See mock-ups of house interiors and a barbershop in addition to displays of photographs. Purchase fictional and non-fictional material at the Little Wonder Store, a recreation of a community bookstore.
Browse the museum’s temporary exhibitions. Previous themes have included everything from racism in sport and railroad history to the Western Cape’s Spring Queen beauty pageant.
Located on the edge of Cape Town’s city center, the museum is close to several other major city attractions. Cape Town City Hall and the Castle of Good Hope are both less than 10 minutes away by foot. A hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus stops at the museum. Parking is available for a fee on the surrounding streets.
District Six Museum is open from Monday to Saturday and there’s an admission fee. Guided tours take place four times per day. Find full details on the museum’s official website.