Rhodes Memorial

Below Devil’s Peak
The Groote Schuur Estate

Rhodes Memorial

Memorial/Local de Consciência

Visão geral

Sem votos

The magnificent floodlit memorial to Cecil John Rhodes, stands on the slopes of Devil’s Peak, on the Northern flank of Table Mountain. It was built in 1912 on the very place where Rhodes used to sit and contemplate his future. It was a short ride on horseback from his town home – Groote Schuur – (from which the famous hospital takes it’s name) - which is now separated by the M3 Rhodes Drive motorway.

The Rhodes Memorial was Financed by public subscription raised from the estimated 30 000 citizens of Cape Town in deference for all that Rhodes had accomplished, and the very considerable contribution he had made to the development and increasing prosperity of Southern Africa, (seldom realized these days), during his dynamic 32 years in this Country. Built with granite dressed from the rock bases upon which the Quartzite strata of the mountain rest, the monument was designed by Sir Francis Macey and Sir Herbert Baker who, deprived of Rhodes’ “compulsion to direct”, were able to give full reign to their imagination and skills.

Incorporating Doric columns, the classical architecture so revered by CJR, the eight lions, were cast “in situ” by J.W Swan, modeled upon those protecting Nelson column in Trafalgar Square, London, and are a Tribute to Rhodes’ wish to have real lions roaming his ‘African Wildlife Garden’ for all the citizens to enjoy. Swan also sculpted the bust of Rhodes, ( whom he, by the way, had never met), from photographs, but sadly nearly finished, his untimely death prevented it’s completion by his own hand.

The dynamic ‘Statue of Energy’, rearing at the foot of the 49 steps, (one for each year of his life), was a tribute to the restless drive and determination of Rhodes, and was presented by G.F. Watts OM.

There is an identical statue, also in London in Kensington Palace Gardens.

The inscriptions were composed by Rudyard Kipling, a great friend of Rhodes, and engraved on the pedestal supporting his bust are the words :

The immense and
Spirit still
shall quicken
and control
Living he was the
Land And Dead
his Soul shall be
her Soul

Carved into the frieze above his bust are the words:

To the Spirit and Life Work of
Cecil John Rhodes
who Loved and Served South Africa

1853 - 1902

The Memorial was dedicated at a public ceremony in 1912 by Sir Earl Grey, British Colonial Secretary, who made a special trip to South Africa for the occasion, and the unveiling was performed by the then Mayor of Cape Town, Sir Frank Smith.

Today Rhodes Memorial is a national landmark, providing a magnificent view of industrial Cape Town out over the airport and the Cape Flats to the Helderberg and Hottentots Holland Mountains.

021 689 9151


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