SolmsMuseumPanomuseum displayslave plaques 005

The social history of the 325-year-old Solms-Delta wine estate is displayed in a museum in the original wine cellar, dating back to 1740. This is a few yards from an excavated Later Stone Age settlement site, and the exposed foundations of a 1680s hunting lodge, one of the oldest buildings in the Cape.

From its name, which honours the farm’s slave heritage, to the fascinating display, the emphasis of the Museum van de Caab is on the individual people who lived and worked on the farm, from pre-colonial pastoral usage of the land, the establishment of private ownership through colonial viticulture, the scars left by slavery and apartheid, and beyond, to the establishment of a democratic South Africa and our hopes for the future – contextualising the story of the farm in relation to the country as a whole. One of the walls is covered by 200 stone plaques, each memorializing an individual life given to the farm through slavery.

The value of the personal voices and human dramas of the people who lived at Delta is that they can be used to create a realistic, complex and sometimes contradictory picture of the past. This allows visitors to the Museum van de Caab to form their own opinions about what happened, to decide how they feel about certain events or agents, and to relate aspects of these stories to their own lives.

For more information about the Museum van de Caab click here

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