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Robben Island is made up of a decrease layer of Malmesbury shale which shapes its wild shoreline, coated by a layer of limestone and calcrete, and topped by sand and a myriad fragments of shell. The island measures 5.6 kms approx. from north to south and a couple of.6 kms approx. from east to west. The very best level is 24 metres above sea degree.
The inhospitable submerged rocks ringing the shoreline of the island have the popularity of sinking some 22 ships beginning with the Yeanger of Horne in 1611.
Early seafarers referred to Robben Island
The crews of passing ships have been first to land on the island within the 1500s to replenish their meals provides from the meat of the seals and penguins, and Robben Island was so named from the Dutch phrase Robbe for 'seal'
Robben Island turned a Unesco World Heritage website in 1999. It stays an typically painful reminder of darkish days in South Africa, and a logo of human dignity and suppression through the Apartheid years of the Nationalist Authorities. Its function for a few years was as a kind of native Alcatraz to imprison dissidents, political opponents - freedom fighters and enemies of the Apartheid regime.
Because the first human occupation of the
The island had turn into a jail colony as early because the mid 1600s. Khoi and slave criminals have been despatched there from the mainland. One Sheikh Madura who opposed Dutch colonialism in his native East Indies, was additionally imprisoned on Robben Island. His shrine stands close to the jail constructing.
In later years, Bushmen and Xhosa chiefs, defeated within the Japanese Frontier wars have been banished to Robben Island.
From 1846 Robben Island turned a hospital for 'lunatics' lepers and chronically unwell individuals from poorer communities. It quickly developed a popularity for poor sanitary circumstances. The water was dangerous and the meals poor. There adopted a leprosy 'scare' within the 1880s when many leprosy victims have been rounded up and shipped to Robben Island.
In the course of the 1930s the hospital buildings have been burnt down and in anticipation of conflict, Robben Island was fortified by huge weapons and occupied by an area artillery faculty. The arms nevertheless have been by no means utilized in fight and in 1959 the island was taken over by the then Division of Prisons.
The primary political prisoners arrived at Robben Island
Jail circumstances have been harsh in these years and the warders have been famend for his or her brutality. The prisoners have been made to do exhausting guide labour in a lime quarry, however of their free time dedicated themselves to persevering with the wrestle, whereas learning and preventing illiteracy.
The ANC was unbanned in 1990 and by the next yr the air of political change was being felt in South Africa. Democracy was lastly a actuality. The Nationalist authorities of South Africa gave in to calls for and the final prisoners left Robben Island in Might 1991.
The island has been opened to the general public and has turn out to be a well-liked if not important vacation spot for
You need not guide days prematurely of your journey to
Guided excursions to Robben Island take three.5 hours together with a return boat journey from