Page:EB1911 - Volume 05.djvu/265

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252
Cape Town

of the Capetians is also distinguished by its union with the Habsburgs, through the marriage of Mary, daughter of Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, with Maximilian, afterwards the emperor Maximilian I. Of great importance also was the house of the counts of Anjou, which was founded in 1246, by Charles, son of the French king Louis VIII., and which, in 1360, was raised to the dignity of a dukedom (see Anjou). Members of this family sat upon the thrones of two kingdoms. The counts and dukes of Anjou were kings of Naples from 1265 to 1442. In 1308 Charles Robert of Anjou was elected king of Hungary, his claim being based on the marriage of his grandfather Charles II., king of Naples and count of Anjou, with Maria, daughter of Stephen V., king of Hungary. A third branch formed the house of the counts of Artois, which was founded in 1238 by Robert, son of King Louis VIII. This house merged in that of Valois in 1383, by the marriage of Margaret, daughter of Louis, count of Artois, with Philip the Bold, duke of Burgundy. The throne of Navarre was also filled by the Capetians. In 1284 Jeanne, daughter and heiress of Henry I., king of Navarre, married Philip IV., king of France, and the two kingdoms were united until Philip of Valois became king of France as Philip VI. in 1328, when Jeanne, daughter of King Louis X., and heiress of Navarre, married Philip, count of Evreux (see Navarre).

In the 13th century the throne of Constantinople was occupied by a branch of the Capetians. Peter, grandson of King Louis VI., obtained that dignity in 1217 as brother-in-law of the two previous emperors, Baldwin, count of Flanders, and his brother Henry. Peter was succeeded successively by his two sons, Robert and Baldwin, from whom in 1261 the empire was recovered by the Greeks.

The counts of Dreux, for two centuries and a half (1132–1377), and the counts of Evreux, from 1307 to 1425, also belonged to the family of the Capets, — other members of which worthy of mention are the Dunois and the Longuevilles, illegitimate branches of the house of Valois, which produced many famous warriors and courtiers.

Cape Town, the capital of the Cape Province, South Africa, in 33° 56′ S., 18° 28′ E. It is at the north-west extremity of the Cape Peninsula on the south shore of Table Bay, is 6181 m. by sea from London and 957 by rail south-west of Johannesburg. Few cities are more magnificently situated. Behind the bay the massive wall of Table Mountain, 2 m. in length, rises to a height of over 3500 ft., while on the east and west projecting mountains enclose the plain in which the city lies. The mountain to the east, 3300 ft. high, which projects but slightly seawards, is the Devil's Peak, that to the west the Lion's Head (over 2000 ft. high), with a lesser height in front called the Lion's Rump or Signal Hill. The city, at first confined to the land at the head of the bay, has extended all round the, shores of the bay and to the lower spurs of Table Mountain.

The purely Dutch aspect which Cape Town preserved until the middle of the 19th century has disappeared. Nearly all the stucco-fronted brick houses, with flat roofs and cornices and wide spreading stoeps, of the early Dutch settlers have been replaced by shops, warehouses and offices in styles common to English towns. Of the many fine public buildings which adorn the city scarcely any date before 1860. The mixture of races among the inhabitants, especially the presence of numerous Malays, who on all festive occasions appear in gorgeous raiment, gives additional animation and colour to the street scenes. The mosques with their cupolas and minarets, and houses built in Eastern fashion contrast curiously with the Renaissance style of most of the modern buildings, the medieval aspect of the castle and the quaint appearance of the Dutch houses still standing.

Chief Public Buildings. — The castle stands near the shore at the head of the bay. Begun in 1666 its usefulness as a fortress has long ceased, but it serves to link the city to its past. West of the castle is a large oblong space, the Parade Ground. A little farther west, at the foot of the central jetty is a statue of Van Riebeek, the first governor of the Cape. In a line with the jetty is Adderley Street, and its continuation Government Avenue. Adderley Street and the avenue make one straight road a mile long, and at its end are “the Gardens,” as the suburbs built on the rising ground leading to Table Mountain are called. The avenue itself is fully half a mile long and is lined on either side with fine oak trees. In Adderley Street are the customs house and railway station, the Standard bank, the general post and telegraph offices, with a tower 120 ft. high, and the Dutch Reformed church. The church dates from 1699 and is the oldest church in South Africa. Of the original building only the clock tower (sent from Holland in 1727) remains. Government Avenue contains, on the east side, the Houses of Parliament, government house, a modernized Dutch building, and the Jewish synagogue; on the west side are the Anglican cathedral and grammar schools, the public library, botanic gardens, the museum and South African college. Many of these buildings are of considerable architectural merit, the material chiefly used in their construction being granite from the Paarl and red brick. The botanic gardens cover 14 acres, contain over 8000 varieties of trees and plants, and afford a magnificent view of Table Mountain and its companion heights. In the gardens, in front of the library is a statue of Sir George Grey, governor of the Cape from 1854 to 1861. The most valuable portion of the library is the 5000 volumes presented by Sir George Grey. In Queen Victoria Street, which runs along the west side of the gardens, are the Cape University buildings (begun in 1906), the law courts, City club and Huguenot memorial hall. The Anglican cathedral, begun in 1901 to replace an unpretentious building on the same site, is dedicated to St George. It lies between the library and St George's Street, in which are the chief newspaper offices, and premises of the wholesale merchants. West of St George's Street is Greenmarket Square, the centre of the town during the Dutch period. From the balcony of the town house, which overlooks the square, proclamations were read to the burghers, summoned to the spot by the ringing of the bell in the small domed tower. Still farther west, in Riebeek Square, is the old slave market, now used as a church and school for coloured people.

Facing the north side of the Parade Ground are the handsome municipal buildings, completed in 1906. The most conspicuous feature is the clock tower and belfry, 200 ft. high. The hall is  ft. by 62, and 55 ft. high. Opposite the main entrance is a statue of Edward VII. by William Goscombe John, unveiled in 1905. The opera house occupies the north-west corner of the Parade Ground. Plein Street, which leads south from the Parade Ground, is noted for its cheap shops, largely patronized on Saturday nights by the coloured inhabitants. In Sir Lowry Road, the chief eastern thoroughfare, is the large vegetable and fruit market. Immediately west of the harbour are the convict station and Somerset hospital. They are built at the town end of Greenpoint Common, the open space at the foot of Signal Hill. Cape Town is provided with an excellent water supply and an efhcient drainage system.

The Suburbs. — The suburbs of Cape Town, for natural beauty of position, are among the finest in the world. On the west they extend about 3 m., by Green Point to Sea Point, between the sea and the foot of the Lion's Rump; on the east they run round the foot of the Devil's Peak, by Woodstock, Mowbray, Rondebosch, Newlands, Claremont, &c., to Wynberg, a distance of 7 m. Though these are managed by various municipalities, there is practically no break in the buildings for the whole distance. All the parts are connected by the suburban railway service, and by an electric tramway system. A tramway also runs from the town over the Kloof, or pass between Table Mountain and the Lion's Head, to Camp's Bay, on the west coast south of Sea Point, to which place it is continued, the tramway thus completely circling the Lion's Head and Signal Hill. Of the suburbs mentioned, Green Point and Sea Point are seaside resorts, Woodstock being both a business and residential quarter. Woodstock covers the ground on which the British, in 1806, defeated the Dutch, and contains the house in which the articles of capitulation were signed, Another seaside suburb is Milnerton on the north-east shores of Table Bay at the mouth of the Diep river. Near Maitland, and 3 m. from the city, is the Cape Town observatory, built in